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Video: Minneapolis SWAT Dumping Camo Uniforms to Minimize Militarized Look

March 01, 2016  | 

VIDEO: Minneapolis SWAT Dumping Camo Uniforms to Minimize Militarized Look

The Minneapolis Police Department's SWAT team is getting new uniforms to minimize the perception of a "militarized" look.

The police department said they will not eliminate any necessary equipment but will just change the color from military green to dark navy blue, which the department says is more consistent with traditional police uniform and equipment colors. NYPD and LAPD tactical teams wear dark navy blue.

Police department officials say they made the change after community members both locally and nationally voiced concerns about the militarized look of the SWAT team. They say the SWAT team is not a military unit and is not trained by the military, so they want to help change that perception, KTSP TV reports.

Comments (11)

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11

Mark @ 3/1/2016 7:31 PM

I've been saying this for years that wearing all camo is not a good idea for law enforcement. Especially the agencies that wear all camo with NO police markings or anything identifying they are law enforcement. What's wrong with black or blue? That is cooler to wear than camo.

Leonard @ 3/2/2016 5:36 AM

The most substantial change along with the uniforms would be the elimination of the militarized actions.

Richard C @ 3/2/2016 7:07 AM

If SWAT are operating in a rural environment, then camo is essential as any solid colour will stand out, endangering the wearer. If members of the public claim to be intimidated by military garb on the streets, who cares?! - go somewhere else! If SWAT are nearby, that suggests that the location is dangerous and you shouldn't be there. Police dogs are intimidating, so should they be changed for poodles?! What is far more relevant is that SWAT officers never forget that they are 'police' first and tactical specialists second and that their job is still to serve the public. If the mindset is wrong, then there will always be a chasm between LEOs and citizens. Beware of 'mission creep.' When, in the future, you may be asked to carry out duties that are sinister and not in the public's interest - refuse!

Leonard @ 3/2/2016 7:43 AM

It's much more than appearance. U.S. Police forces, particularly SWAT have been importing urban combat techniques from the military and Israeli forces for years. Communities such as Atlanta, Cambridge, Miami, NYC have close relationships with Israeli forces and have brought their techniques to US soil. It's a relationship and a trend that should be alarming to the public. These techniques once thought to used for exceptional circumstances are commonplace. SWAT teams are now deployed in excess of 50K yearly in this country and used overwhelmingly for issuance of search warrants. In the 2 states that keep stats, over 80 of deployments where for search warrants. The ACLU reported similar numbers in their study. Police access to military grade equipment and willingness deploy them against US citizens are a clear indication that militarization is firmly embedded in our local police forces and needs to be eliminated from the police culture. It endangers us all.

Leonard @ 3/2/2016 7:46 AM

Just a clarification....over 80% of deployments were for search warrants. In MD, over 62% of the warrants were for part-II non-violent crimes.

ResAgentSWA @ 3/2/2016 10:59 AM

So if some of the perpetrators in the "62% of the warrants ... for part-II non-violent crimes" decide they don't want to go to jail and they decide to violently resist (and start shooting/killing the non-SWAT officers) does that make the officers any less dead? Your logic is blinded by your liberal ideology that you cannot even see what a fool you are making of yourself.

TBOW426 @ 3/2/2016 12:07 PM

And what is wrong with green? In many Sheriff's Departments in the south green is the uniform color and BDUs just mirror the regular uniform. Try sneaking through the woods in my area wearing black or navy blue and see how fast the target spots us. There is a time and place for SWAT. When we do a dope search warrant a threat matrix is prepared. Again, in my area dope, guns and pitbulls all go together. SWAT can handle that much more efficiently than patrol units. Not because SWAT has super cops, but cops that are motivated to go above and beyond with training and tactics. Everyone on my SWAT team shoots very well and maintains excellent physical fitness. I cannot say the same about everyone on patrol.

Robert @ 3/2/2016 1:08 PM

Good, honest debate on the topic.
I will add this: How about a standard all blue uniform; and in those unusual cases where camo is required...the SWAT team has access to a 2nd set of uniforms. Being MN, a green camo outfit probably only works 6-8 months out of the year...they might want to add a 3rd set (white camo!! ).
Then when they perform their threat matrix / assessment they simply declare a uniform for the operation....just as they probably change firearms, non-lethal devices and other tools.
Does not seem like a huge cost to the taxpayers either....I hope there aren't more than 50-100 total SWAT/tactical members in town??

OK then @ 3/3/2016 7:06 PM

SWAT teams serve very specific purposes and therefore have different training, equipment and uniforms. This topic of "demilitarization" of them doesn't make any sense at all.

Marcus @ 4/2/2016 8:32 PM

Are they going to also stop killing family pets and unarmed people too? That might help.

Deputy Moose @ 6/14/2016 5:22 PM

Hey people, check out the recent story of the officer's life that was saved in Orlando by his military grade kevlar helmet. We need all the help we can get and that includes the best equipment possible.

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