Decision to end SWAT day shift raises alarms

Concerns are being raised about Toledo police's decision to eliminate the day shift of a specialized team of officers trained to respond to crisis situations, such as school shootings and hostage situations.

Beginning Jan. 1, the SWAT team's day shift will be eliminated as part of an effort to deal with a decline in uniformed staff caused by the city's budget crisis, said Dan Wagner, president of the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association.

The proposed change would leave the police department without a SWAT team between the hours of 4 a.m. and noon - a change Mr. Wagner said is dangerous.

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It would be ideal for a city of Toledo's size to have a SWAT team on duty at all times. However, this is more an issue of asset allocation. While it would be great to have SWAT coverage 24hrs, is that superior to have 5 or 10 extra patrol cars on the street during that time? The issue isn't whether SWAT coverage is needed, because it is. The issue at hand is the overall benefit of a SWAT team for that shift versus a few extra patrol cars. Which option will make Toledo the safest?

I don't know the answer, but that's the question that must be answered.

Fink and his Chief of Poorlice have done it again! This is stellar decision will no doubt be another shinning example of forsight and concern for public saftey. I tell ya what is most dangerous here...the nimrods making decisions. After all, it must have been an illusion in Cleveland last week, the girl that was raped, the 2 boys robbed, the kid choked in gym class...all illusuions??

I'll have a banner made up for the Administration: " Open For Shootings and General Chaos Between 4AM and Noon".

...a SWAT team on duty at all times is efficient, it's not a matter of the SWAT's a matter of priorities.

Is maintaining a SWAT team 24 hours a day more important than other expenditures the city has? If so, then cut something else instead. If not, this elimination may make sense.

Sadly, I don't think this type of questioning or prioritizing takes place on the 22nd floor.

If we were currently living in the 1950's I would say, we don't need a SWAT Team at all. Lets face it folks we ain't living in the 1950's. We are dealing with some pretty ugly people with some pretty ugly agendas. I can't imagine trying to assemble a SWAT Team during the day when the used-to-be daytime SWAT team members are shopping with their wives at the mall or out golfing

...we need a SWAT team, or even additional police? If citizens aren't arming themselves, and banding together to deal with those who disturb our peace don't we deserve the chaos that results? Is it cheaper in terms of time, and money to form citizen militias, isn't this the way to go?

Those who are the "leaders" of Toledo have a vision of what they want, and this is their way of trying to get it. So much money has come in, and it is being spent according to a budget. It has been decided that the flowers on the Anthony Wayne Trail will help "sell" our city (and they do look good to me).

Whether cutting this cost from the budget would allow the city to pay for a SWAT team on the day shift is open to question. And would these men just sit around waiting for an "incident", or would they be doing duties waiting for the call to assemble to do their duty as SWAT members? Is it that easy to assemble a SWAT unit from patrols, and administrative duties? And would a SWAT unit have made any difference in what happened with Asa Coon in Cleveland? If you have to bring people in from patrol, assemble them, brief them, and form a plan of action how many minutes or hours are we talking about? Is this just overblown? And if this involved pre-planned assaults aren't they likely to occur before 4 AM?

Old South End Broadway

Does anyone know when the last time the SWAT team was utilized?

What was it for? Is there that kind of crime in Toledo?

What does SWAT stand for?

With today's technology, do we even need meter readers anymore?

There are multiple types of 'automatic reporting' meters out there that can be 'scanned' remotely via car with the correct reading equipment. We could even put the remote reading equipment in garbage trucks since they go through the neighborhoods on a regular basis anyway.

If we're interested in finding more efficient ways of providing public service, shouldn't we be looking at the potential for such technology???

If we move up the technology scale, we'll be putting perfectly good hampsters out of work. And what to do with their wheel(s)?

This crying broke crap is getting old. We're not broke, we're not flush, but not broke either. It's like the couple that makes decent money yet smokes 2 packs of cigs a day each, and wonder where all the money is going? Pack $4.50 ea x 4 per day = $540.00 per month = $6480.00 a year = $194,400.00 over 30 years. Add to that the health care costs for 2 pack a day smokers and you suddenly see just how expensive bad habits can be.

Toledo needs to go on the "Patch" in a patch cord to the hyper terminal.

I agree.

rescue me

When you have no development that results in revenue increases in the short term what else can they do?

Plant flowers and make cuts.

Seems like a plan to no where to me.

...usually a specialized paramilitary type of tactical team in a municipal police department...

I've wondered this as well. We often think of SWAT being used for hostage situations or other highly volatile situations. However, the vast majority of what most SWAT teams do is high-risk arrests for those with outstanding warrants.

My understanding is that SWAT stands for Special Weapons And Tactics.
I'm curious also, when was the last time Toledo's SWAT team was used and how often is is needed/used.
Is it something that could be an on call thing? Officers trained as SWAT team members but continue normal police routine until called to SWAT duty as the situation arises?
What do SWAT team members do when not out there SWATing criminals?

The last time someone asked a question like that on the 22nd floor, they got hit. We all should know by now, they Mayor doesn't like his decisions questioned.

Well sure.

Technology costs money and we have a budget deficit and people do not want more fees, taxes and so on.

How do we pay for the technology?

In the cuts in the city service, police, is the same old tried and true tactic to stir people up.

It is really nothing new.

...that should be answered.

You'd think, considering potential p.r. issues, that any announcement about changes in police protection would be accompanied by a detailed explanation that would include such information, and plans for how any SWAT-necessary situation between 4 a.m. and noon would be handled...


Would the cost of the new technology be more or less over a period of x years than the wages/benefits/costs of the employees? I'd also include, as part of any cost benefit analysis, the fact that meter readers are in AFSCME Local 7 and whether or not they'd be eligible to fill vacancies in other parts of the city rather than be laid off, etc...and incur unemployment costs.

Most times, technology may require a large up-front cost, but the long-term benefits make it worthwhile. Kind of like Barry Broom said when he was here last week - we have to start looking more long-term in our decisions...

SPECLUTATION WARNING ON: I wonder if this decision is based on the premise that the criminally minded sleep 'til noon. No matter, because having no SWAT between the hours of 4AM-Noon will be saying to them, "if you are going to commit a crime that requires SWAT then get your asses out of bed between those hours because SWAT will not be available to try to prevent you." SPECULATION OFF.

P.S. What can we learn about the city's priorites from this? Collecting money from code violations is a higher priority than keeping SWAT on the job.

be more or less over a period of x years than the wages/benefits/costs of the employees?"

No clue and remember this is Toledo and cost-benefit analysis mean nothing when the Chief Executive plots a course and says DO IT!

"Most times, technology may require a large up-front cost, but the long-term benefits make it worthwhile."

Yup, and back to first base, where do the funds come from, but the Mayor has made his mind up and if the plan fails look for more conflict and then the next Donald Trump moment, when an underling dares to disagree, YOU'RE FIRED.

Go questions for your new show, I would bet.

...the meter readers will now have kevlar jackets, as well as the city codes, in their transports and will be subsitutes for the /Meter Reader/SWAT team/Code Enforcement until promptly 12 noon, then thereafter will become just Code Enforcement/Meter Readers..

Talk about a manipulated job description.

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