Surplus Military Equipment Safeguards Police Lives at Standoff

Surplus Military Equipment Safeguards Police Lives at Standoff

By Stephen Owsinski

Despite the naysayers who believe “scary” surplus military equipment provided to America’s law enforcement agencies ought to be banned forever, one of the latest barricaded subject standoffs illustrates the usefulness of armored apparatus, especially protecting cops extraordinarily well while they defuse situations.

In the San Carlos Park community in Lee County, Florida, a 63-year-old man started raising cain.

“Sheriff Carmine Marceno and members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit responded to a home in San Carlos Park this afternoon in reference to a barricaded subject. At the end of the incident, deputies took the suspect, David Auger (DOB 08/11/1958), into custody and charged him with Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer,” a sheriff’s office spokesperson reported.

Once again, as previously reported, the top cop in his jurisdiction suited up and was elbow-to-elbow with his special operations deputies serving on the SWAT team, taking care of business on the frontlines.

(Photo courtesy of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.)

Why the special ops call-out? Citizens in the immediate area of a residence called the sheriff’s office after observing the home’s occupant baring all in public aka “indecent exposure.”

When patrol deputies arrived to address the suspect, he wanted things his way. Via the police report, the suspect “armed himself [with a knife and a screwdriver] and ran inside of the residence.” Deputies pursued.

“While attempting to leave out of the back of the home, Auger approached our deputies with a knife and threatened them. Auger eventually ran back inside of the home and barricaded himself, refusing to communicate,” the report indicated.

The makings of an armed barricaded subject were in play. Hence, the sheriff’s office Special Operations Unit was summoned. Besides tactical gear and the incessant training for instances such as this, crisis negotiators are ordinarily paired in such a volatile situation.

Generally, citizens in the immediate area are carefully ushered/evacuated. In the event the barricaded man was also armed with firepower and unloosed bullets, law enforcement deputies rolled out some fortified equipment to provide heavy protection against any potential fusillade. After all, the combatant already brandished sharp instruments against deputies, who is to say he doesn’t have one or more firearms in his household?

The presumption is made with utter regard for officer safety.

That brings us to our topic today: the oh-so-scary military surplus equipment provided to America’s law enforcement agencies can and does come in handy, despite naysayers in denial. The Lee County example is one such example among many, thanks to the federal government’s 1033 Program.

(Photo courtesy of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.)

Through the 1033 Program, the Defense Logistics Agency oversees military apparatus and processes applications from law enforcement entities seeking to adopt MRAPs for SWAT deployments, Humvees, marine vessels, flatbed trailers, storage tents, etc.

Some of these very same surplus items may have safeguarded the sons and daughters of those who speak against their use in American law enforcement. Odd how surplus equipment afforded by taxpayers resembles large equipment used to build the homes of those who seek to deny cops every piece of safety imaginable. Whether Bearcat or Caterpillar bulldozer, lives are the commodity safeguarded within the armored confines of tactical vehicles.

Besides the sheriff’s office drone unit’s aerial view (at 00.41), launched to get glimpses of the lay of the land and what the suspect may be doing inside the dwelling, ground units took cover behind the armored vehicles the Department of Defense refers to as “excess property.” (Think about what the present White House administration left behind in Afghanistan, which cops could always use to everyone’s advantage.)

Ultimately, Mr. Auger refused to surrender peacefully. The sheriff’s office gave the green light for several deputies crouched/concealed at the rear step of the armored Rook, while an operator steered and rammed the front door.

SWAT deputies moved in and arrested Mr. Auger without further incident or any injury to anyone. Relatively easy thanks to mobile fortifications preserving law officers called to restore sanctity.

But the sheriff’s office personnel didn’t leave it at that!

No, they observed the eyesore condition of the property—stuff strewn all over the front yard and driveway.

(Photo courtesy of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.)

(Whereas the Bearcat has rubber tires that may puncture, the Rook, much like a tank, is on tracks and could roll right over a debris field such as that created by Mr. Auger.)

With Auger now behind bars, deputies returned to clear away the maze of a mess, bringing the premises up to par with code enforcement stipulations. (I’ve been on criminal investigations whereby code enforcement officers already have open cases on dwellings by the likes of people like Auger. Neighbors usually have high praise when the target property is “resolved” one way or another.)

A Lee County press release read as follows: “[On Tuesday], members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Bureau and Community Response Unit helped restore safety and security for the residents of the San Carlos Park community.

“Sheriff’s Office members and day workers removed all of the items that were dangerous for children, including sharp metals, broken glass, and exposed power cords. They also removed and relocated other items so that they would not deteriorate in the Florida sun, placing them safely in the garage of the residence.

“As the work commenced, residents honked and waved, showing appreciation for the workers who were helping to remove this eyesore and return their street to normal.

“The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is proud to serve the San Carlos Park community and we thank you for your support!”

Initially, wondered why Lee County detention deputies were involved in the overhaul. I also thought “community workers” was a likely reference to county Public Works employees. Then, upon scrolling through a photo array of the aftermath, the black/white-striped attire stood out; county jail inmates were the extra hands (probably for time-served credits) restoring the property to community standards.

(Photo courtesy of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.)

As one neighbor commented, “We are SOOOOOO thankful that this has been finally addressed! We are a neighborhood of great hard-working families and this yard does not reflect our beautiful area. Thank you a million times! LCSO are our heroes!”

How about them apples? From eyesore to curb appeal, law enforcement officers took care of the nitty-gritty posed by a man whose mindset seemed to neither care about community nor the law (or clothing), and was provided a stay at the Marceno Motel (a reference Sheriff Carmine Marceno dubs his county jail).

Speaking to the media on the scene, Sheriff Marceno explained how his deputies are “the best of the best” and how training for everything is the bottom line, and that includes armored vehicle operations. Have a listen:

A super symbolic way to kick off National Police Week, eh?