Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Assessing the Need for a SWAT Team

At the Common Council meeting on March 17, a document called "Inter-Municipal Cooperative Agreement: Columbia-Greene Shared Services Response Team" was accepted as a communication. Last night, at the Common Council Police Committee meeting, Chief Ed Moore spoke about this agreement, explaining that it related to the Hudson Police Department SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team. 

Moore explained that he had been assessing the HPD SWAT team to determine if it was compliant with New York State regulations established in 2010. He found that the SWAT team's equipment was up to basic standards, but its size and command structure, its training and capabilities were not. He told the committee that the situation with the SWAT team "dovetails with accreditation": having a SWAT team that is out of compliance would negatively affect the HPD's accreditation.

Moore said his first thought was simply to eliminate the SWAT team and call in the SWAT team from the state police whenever the need arose, but he told the committee, "You cannot rely on getting the state police here in time." According to Moore, the SWAT team is primarily used for serving warrants, arresting people in their homes, and in situations where there are "active shooters." The solution to the problem Moore is recommending is partnering with the Greene County Sheriff's Office and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office to form a shared SWAT team made up of officers from all three agencies. Moore sees benefits in having HPD officers "share information and train together with the sheriffs' officers." The shared service agreement would also allow the group to "tap into grants."

Common Council president Don Moore asked what Chief Moore thought the group needed grants to acquire, expressing concern about SWAT teams "that have gone way over what is required by the community," apparently alluding to the trend toward militarizing local law enforcement agencies. Chief Moore said the group has already acquired a robot but did not elaborate except to say that there was grant money available to pay overtime.

Police Committee member Bart Delaney (Fifth Ward) moved and the committee unanimously agreed to bring a resolution on the shared services agreement before the full Council at its April meeting.


  1. In the City's annual sewer report submitted to the state in January, our DPW acknowledged that the city does not enforce its litter laws (p. 12).

    Yesterday I observed an empty potato chip bag on the river ice, but the HPD has already forbidden me from going onto the ice.

    So why not turn the SWAT team against the litterbugs? The team can cruise the city in mini-busses borrowed from COARC.

    OH! even better: let's get the robot involved. I've read that robots can go onto ice.

  2. From the NOR:
    State and local restrictions on river use have to be legitimately related to enhancing public trust value, not reducing it. Rivers cannot be closed or partially closed to appease adjacent landowners, fishermen who want to dedicate the river to fishing only, or to make life easier for local law enforcement agencies. - See more at: http://www.nationalrivers.org/frequently-asked-questions/?page=2#sthash.yK4JzzQ0.dpuf

    Using a SWAT team to achieve a (corrupt) political goal:an abuse of power...

    1000 days and counting...

  3. Google " first shooting in Iceland " for a look at a different mindset.

  4. Tricky Rick turned North Dock into Tombstone, and Bill Hallenbeck used SWAT to close it.

    They serve us with enmity.

  5. I may be off base here, but in light of the recent ISIS threats in Col Cty, It would seem to me that all agencies should be prepared.

    1. There are lots of ways to slice the pie, but in principle I don't disagree.

      I'll bow to Chief Moore's good sense and greater knowledge, but I'll still encourage the HPD to keep up with the smaller quality of life matters, such as littering, public urination, unleashed dogs, freely defecating dogs, throwing dangerous objects from cars, and driving in the alleys at night without lights, all of which I've seen in 2015.

  6. On a slightly different take, I find your picture of the Adam-12 crew (an idealistic TV show) and the SWAT team very offensive and one sided. Did you ever think that it might be necessary to have a heavily armed SWAT team because the criminals are stepping up their arsenal to outgun the cops. The picture is biased and totally unnecessary to the story you have written.