a reply to: FlyInTheOintment
Every LEO I have talked to are not going to support a gun grab nor will they support martial law. We have worked with guard units in terms of
coordinating responses to situations that would overwhelm law enforcement. I will note that state guard units are not covered by posse comitatus as
they answer to the Governor / Adjutant General and are not under federal command. In the back chat with the military people I have talked with over
the years, they would not support an action that is based on unlawful / unconstitutional commands on the home front.
I will note that the training we did have had nothing to do with countering any civil unrest / situation where the civilian population was the enemy.
It revolved around securing infrastructure to support / facilitate getting supplies to civilians in the event all hell breaks loose where
transportation / communication / breakdown in basic services occurs. My state (Mo) has emergency plans that deal with many scenarios, including
massive earthquakes along the New Madrid's fault.
Law Enforcement has the same ability, albeit easier than the military, to refuse illegal commands. Firing on civilians is one of those orders that
would be illegal. We are constrained by the constitution, federal law, scotus rulings, state law, state scotus rulings and departmental policy. Even
during disaster declarations / emergency declarations the use of force can change but not by much. The changes would revolve around being able to use
deadly force to protect critical supplies (food / medicine / water / etc).
My chain of command is my departments command staff and that can change if we are attached to county / state police / other police agencies during
emergencies. With that said I can say the officers I know are not going to fire on civilians in order to push some marshal law type scenario. Our
authority comes from the consent of the people that have entrusted us with their authority to enforce the laws. It does not come from the Federal
I was in Joplin when the tornadoes hit and I will say that in addition to police from all over Missouri, we had law enforcement from surrounding
states respond in addition to federal agencies that have law enforcement divisions.
To give an example of how that worked -
Mo law allows law enforcement from bordering states, while in performance of their duties, to be covered under Mo law as having the same authority as
Mo law enforcement. The same law applies to federal law enforcement.
Joplin declared a state of emergency and established a curfew and partial lock down of the city. The areas of the city that were hit hardest were
designated and the curfew restricted to just those areas. People who lived in the zones were not affected by the curfew but they were required to
identify to law enforcement to verify they lived in the area and to be given a pass exempting them. Anyone else in the area who didnt live there and
was not a part of law enforcement were told to leave and those caught after the curfew were arrested / removed from the area.
SEMA / FEMA interaction -
Mo has SEMA (State Emergency Management Agency). When SEMA was activated they coordinate with the county, who coordinates with the city. The cities
put out a list of what they needed, SEMA would fill what they could and would pass on the list of what they couldn't to FEMA, who would locate the
rest and supply it.
I bring this info up because I think its important to note that there was no jurisdictional pissing contests, no federal vs state vs local vs city
issues. The feds didnt stroll in and try to assume control. To be honest the FEMA response was surprisingly helpful and lacked the typical red tape
one would expect. As an example emergency loans required people to essentially fill out a basic form to get emergency funds with more in depth
paperwork being required down the road when things stabilized. The caveat was the people getting emergency funds were told if they lie they have to
repay the money.
I will say that, god forbid this occurs, in an instance where a civil war type issue occurs, police / guard units will side with the people.
To inject some levity in a nightmare scenario I don't see the left winning since they dont own guns. This is why I can't see this occurring in a
straightforward manner because the people pushing a martial law type set up would not have the support to be successful.
ETA - Emergency management is a complex topic. More so than what some people think. As an example FEMA and body bags / plastic coffins. Most
emergencies that occur normally do not have mass casualty results. By mass casualty I mean more than what the normal infrastructure can handle. At
the local level thousands of body bags / plastic coffins are just not needed. When we start to see casualties in the many hundreds to thousand range
local / regional resources would become stressed if not completely overwhelmed. While the thought of stockpiling body bags / coffins can have a
sinister feel try to see it from the other side. Believe it or not bodies left out in the open can have major health affects on the area, both
medically / environmentally and believe it or not mentally. Not having a system in place to deal with a scenario no one wants but can be a very real
possibility is only prudent.
edit on 18-6-2016 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)