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Florida Sheriff Challenges Obama on Militarization of Police After Orlando Massacre

June 16, 2016  | 

Lee County (FL) Sheriff Mike Scott (Photo: Facebook)
Lee County (FL) Sheriff Mike Scott (Photo: Facebook)

A statement from Lee County (FL) Sheriff Mike Scott in the hours following the mass shooting in Orlando has drawn mixed reactions from the public.

About six hours after news broke Sunday about the shooting at Pulse nightclub, Scott released a statement on Facebook denouncing President Barack Obama's views on demilitarizing police, the Naples Daily News reports.

"In recent years, President Obama has issued 'executive orders' limiting law enforcement access to armored vehicles and criticizing use of same. As always, his willing partners in the media promote the notion that law enforcement officers should somehow respond to critical events in kinder, gentler fashion. We had examples of this flawed thinking not long ago when the FMPD acquired a military surplus vehicle before Obama put the brakes on that program. We at the LCSO have had an armored Bearcat for years; indeed, the very same style vehicle used earlier this morning to stop the mass shooting in the Orlando nightclub. It’s just this simple folks, bullets are bullets whether they are flying on the foreign soil of Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. or anywhere USA like say, Orlando? This most recent tragedy in Orlando is yet another example of how real the threat can be, and my thoughts and prayers are with the injured and the families of those killed. I am left to wonder how our President and anyone subscribing to his shallow rhetoric about demilitarizing police would respond to a hail of gunfire. It is truly a hypocrite that rides around in armored vehicles while suggesting that the modern day law enforcement officers do otherwise."

Comments (16)

Displaying 1 - 16 of 16

Joseph Vanchieri @ 6/16/2016 2:44 PM

Absolutely correct Sheriff. So called "stars" do the same thing. All in on taking our God given right of self defense yet walk around with armed guards. Hypocrites all of them.

Tom Ret @ 6/16/2016 4:02 PM

I agree totally with the sheriff.

Sid Grimes @ 6/16/2016 4:11 PM

You may choose not to own a gun - that is your choice
You may choose not to believe in God - that is your right

When your life is in danger the first two things you will do are:
Call a man with a gun (unless you are an eletist politician who has armed security)
Pray to God he gets there in time

I'm with you all the way Sheriff

Quin. @ 6/16/2016 4:42 PM

Arm yourself , take care of yourself , not need to call anyone with a gun

Sid Grimes @ 6/16/2016 4:52 PM

Quin: Yep. That's why a Glock 27 and 20 rounds is with me day and nite.

Mark @ 6/16/2016 8:22 PM

This sheriff is right. Police need the access to the best equipment. This is nothing new either contrary to the media. The only thing I would suggest is to not look like a military unit but a police unit instead, i.e., get rid of the wearing of woodland camo in a city and wear police looking uniforms. Also wear patches that say police. Also, don't post stupid videos online like the Doraville PD did. That way people will probably not notice any "militarization" of police and we still get the equipment we need to do the job.

Mark @ 6/16/2016 8:22 PM

This sheriff is right. Police need the access to the best equipment. This is nothing new either contrary to the media. The only thing I would suggest is to not look like a military unit but a police unit instead, i.e., get rid of the wearing of woodland camo in a city and wear police looking uniforms. Also wear patches that say police. Also, don't post stupid videos online like the Doraville PD did. That way people will probably not notice any "militarization" of police and we still get the equipment we need to do the job.

John retired IA PD @ 6/16/2016 10:50 PM

Well said Sheriff Scott. I just wonder how quickly our politicians will give up their armored vehicles and armed security to set the example.

Kevin Townsend @ 6/16/2016 11:43 PM

The Sheriff is correct. One additional things needs to be said. Sheriffs are elected by the people and they seem to more closely identify with those who gave them the job than those Chiefs who are appointed by and beholden to Mayors and City Councils (especially in the more liberal large population centers). I am of the opinion that those leaders who stand up for the citizen's right to defend themselves (for example, Sheriff David Clark Jr. of Milwaukee, WI) are less likely to have citizens reject so-called military hardware because there is a mutual respect and concern between the department and the citizenry. I recognize that there are those exceptions (for example, Chief James Craig, Detroit PD). My point is, when both sides of the equation feel that they are in the fight against crime together and that law enforcement is there to support them as much as they are there to support law enforcement there is less concern about how that happens just so long as it happens.

kevcopAz @ 6/17/2016 7:30 AM

"karl" we all can tell that YOU have never been a cop and are a uninformed know nothing that does not have a clue of which he speaks. Probably a "want to be" that couldn't make the grade to even be a cop. Grow up, the things you say mean nothing and we all know the source and ignore it for the most part other then to laugh at you and your ass backward way of what you might call "thinking"! If you are so well informed about this Sheriff, you must live down there and i you do, shut up and run for office to oust him and step up and do the job or stand back and shut the hell up.

Tom Ret @ 6/17/2016 7:51 AM

It probably would have taken the cops longer if they didn't have the bearcat
vehicle to punch a hole in the rear wall. Yes, the same vehicle that Obama and his ilk didn't want the police to have because they look too militaristic. Idiots like Karl, need to step up to the plate and show us how it should be done if he thinks the cops waited too long. Of course he is only a computer commando who doesn't know squat about putting ones butt on the line to protect the public. Karl, why don't you do us and the world a favor and go choke yourself
out. I know I would feel better.

LEO (RET) @ 6/17/2016 8:03 AM

Good for you Sheriff Scott. This joke of a president we have not only wants to demilitarize our nation's LE, (which he's always had great disdain for), but what he's doing to the FBI when it comes to investigating Muslim terrorists is just down right shameful. He's really limiting their full potential to do their jobs, all for the sake of PC, which is ruining our country. I truly do believe that he is the architect of our country's demise. He can't leave the WH soon enough.

kojack58 @ 6/21/2016 12:16 PM

Sheriff Scott, I praise your stance on this and I dare President Obama to ride unprotected, it would only take once for him or any other person that was President as you have crazy folks every where that want their 15 minutes of fame for taking the life of a centralized figure head.

RandyGT50 @ 6/24/2016 11:33 AM

I disagree with the sheriff. There is no need for such an attitude in our civil police force. Note that I mention "civil" police force. It is not the vehicles and extraordinary tools in our back pocket, rather it is our heads that capture the bad guys and capture the hearts of the people we serve to protect.

6-8 police officers that originally got on site quickly had the subject pinned inside a restroom. They got orders to stand down and wait for swat. These are the facts that are crucial here. The sheriff or some higher authority made the decision to have swat come in. This can be for no other reason than to justify having a swat unit and with swat they want to be the military style force. Pulling those officers away from the restroom without anyone really taking their place was idiotic at best and a major cause of those deaths at worst.

Stop trying to justify military use of force to take on ONE armed suspect. Let your officers who get their first eliminate threat.

RandyGT50 @ 6/24/2016 11:41 AM

I can't seem to find "Karls" comments, for those reading my decent on the Sheriff's comments or any other offices comments, I am retired LEO. You all need to take a step back and look at this or any incident from the public points of view before rationalizing your thoughts and comments.

All of our great Officers, Deputies and elected or appointed officials are here to serve the public and keep the peace. But not at any cost, especially when not necessary. We're not here to kill, we're not here to destroy, we're not here to serve our own interests. There just seems to be no balance anymore. Its liberals against conservatives, its the police against the public.... where does it end?

Sgt. Mike @ 6/24/2016 3:15 PM

Well said Sheriff Scott.

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