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Safety on the Job for Cops

There’s a lot of danger wherever there are illegal drugs. Drugs are connected with cash and greed and theft and illegality, so they are always connected with firearms as well. This means, of course, that all law enforcement officers must take the greatest of care when they come into a confrontation. From time to time, Police Departments analyze their operating procedures as they discover problems and tactics that need to be improved.

Back in April 2012, there was a fatal drug raid during which the Greenland area police chief was killed. As a result of the studies done by the Greenland Incident Review Commission regarding that raid, our New Hampshire drug task force will be implementing new procedures. The new commander, State Police Captain Scott Sweet listed several changes in procedures, including command-level approval for all warrants, suspension of the “no knock” dynamic entry, Level III body armor and first-aid kits on site, and required use of portable radios in all high-risk scenarios. Level III body armor generally means bullet-proof vests.

The Greenland incident involved six drug task force members raiding a home that was suspected to hold a person who sold anabolic steroids and oxycodone. There was a shootout and Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was killed and so were the suspect and his girlfriend. Four other officers were wounded.

This aligns directly with a story out of Washington that reported that 92% of one thousand officers surveyed reported having mandatory body armor, which is 59% higher than the 2009 survey showed. In fact, in 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder warned that local police departments would risk losing millions of dollars in federal aid if they did not make body armor mandatory. 78% of the police said that their agencies had instituted written policies. 90% of the officers said that they comply with the directive all of the time.

Greenland’s new directive is in line with law enforcement procedures nationwide, which would have expected the upgrade in defensive armor even if the incident last April had not spurred it on.

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