My latest OpEd for the Los Angeles Times was published this morning. Entitled "The LAPD's Assault on SWAT," it details some very significant changes that are being made to the LAPD's SWAT team, in the name of one thing only: Political Correctness.
The results can have no positive outcome. Many thanks to the current and former LAPD officers who provided me information, as well as to the Times' Nick Goldberg and company who, as always, did a highly professional, honest job of editing the piece.
THE LAPD'S ASSAULT ON SWAT
On a Sunday afternoon in the summer of 2005, Jose Peña fueled himself with cocaine and grabbed a 9-millimeter pistol. Waving the gun at the head of his 19-month-old daughter, Suzie, he told the LAPD officers who arrived at the scene that he was Tony Montana -- the character played by Al Pacino in "Scarface" -- and that he was going to kill his daughter and himself. He'd already shot at her sister and at the police, so the threat was believable.
The situation was straightforward: If an LAPD SWAT crisis negotiator couldn't dispel Peña's narcotic fantasies, the little girl's life would rest with a SWAT rescue team's ability to cross a 50-foot alley, access the building, find and enter the room he was in and save Suzie before Peña pulled the trigger.
Now imagine for a moment that you were in Suzie Peña's position. Would you want the police SWAT team coming through the door to be the best of the best -- the toughest, most highly trained, most elite tacticians in the Los Angeles Police Department -- or would you want the team to "look like L.A."? Would you want rescuers who had not lost a hostage in three decades, or would you want a team with heartwarming, multicultural diversity?