R. Macdonald: That is the Lewiston way

In a letter to the editor Aug. 11, “Policing isn’t the same as combat,” Rachel Myers Healy criticized the Sun Journal’s favorable stance on the Lewiston Police Department accepting surplus military equipment. “Tools of war belong in combat theaters, not in our neighborhood,” she wrote.

Really? In neighborhoods and cities throughout the U.S., the type of violence being committed mirrors Kabul and Baghdad. When you look at the body count/murders in many cities, it becomes difficult to distinguish between terrorists’ violence and gang activity.

Police departments are currently engaged in a war in many cities throughout this country. They face an underclass that is well armed and has no respect for the lives or property of the public, let alone police officers. How does ambushing police officers or greeting them with automatic rifle fire differ from war?

In many major cities, hardworking middle class minorities are held captive in their homes. Like war, the gangs/enemy always seem to control the night. Worse, many liberals excuse their behavior by labeling those thugs as victims of society.

The city of Lewiston will continue to add any military surplus that is felt needed to ensure the safety of our citizens.

Force will be met with greater force. That’s the Lewiston way.

Robert Macdonald, mayor of Lewiston

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Comments

Richard  White's picture

I actually have two comments

I actually have two comments on this issue.

1. It is my understanding that the M113 APC, the robot, as well the spare parts for both were given to Lewiston Police Department at no cost. Even though I really do not believe that we really need them, it is better to have them and not need them, than to need them and not have them. At least the City received them at no cost. It would have been foolish to turn them down when offered.

2. Whereas, receiving free equipment is nice, I feel extra funding to put more officers on the street would have been more beneficial. We need to find a way to increase police presence here in the city. Having only 7 police officers covering the entire city in one shift makes it difficult to effectively protect the city. When a call goes out, requiring 2-3 units, that leaves other areas virtually unprotected.

Not going to happen in the near future...

In our neo-con age, hiring more policemen means more labor, unionized labor. If anything, America is cutting back on labor expenses at every but the highest levels (CEOs, Board of Directors and the owning-class like.)

But there will always be monies for equipment from politically connected contractors. Like Lenco and others.

"They face an underclass that

"They face an underclass that is well armed and has no respect for the lives or property of the public, let alone police officers."---RM

Underclass?

Sounds rather ominous...

Greatly troubled by this...

I am conflicted by this... My hometown acquired an armored car from Homeland Security, and Concord, NH now considering one as well.

As a former reporter who worked a short stint at the Berlin Daily Reporter, I remember Carl Drega's rampage in Colebrook, NH that cost a judge, a newspaper editor and two state troopers their lives... So yes I do want the police to have what they need so that they can return home safe to their families at night...

But also as a student of history, the increasing militarization of our civil society greatly disturbs me. As it did Ambassador William Dodd who watched a militarization of Depression Era Germany. His observations were illustrated well in Erik Larson's fine book, The Beasts in the Garden. I recommend it to all.

See: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/books/in-the-garden-of-beasts-by-erik-...

---SWL

Mike Lachance's picture

Sorry, while I support the

Sorry, while I support the LPD, this isn't Detroit. There is no reasonable need for an M133 APC in Lewiston Maine. The Dept and City officials can keep trying to rationalize all they want but it just doesn't add up.

ERNEST LABBE's picture

I have personally

I have personally watched the State Police SWAT team armored vehicle in action during a standoff. With the use of the vehicle the team could get right up beside the house without fear of being shot. Once there the team members could safely get access to the house to fire shock grenades into the house. Which resulted in the person in the house surrendering.

The State Police SWAT team is a very dedicated group with unbelievable It was at least three hours before they resorted to using the shock grenade method to get the person's attention.

The whole incidence ended peacefully with no shots fired, and no one injured.

Therefore I would think that the Armored Personal Carrier ( it is not a tank) the LPD acquired is a good thing for the Police as well as the perpetrators of actions requiring it's use.

ERNEST LABBE's picture

Second paragraph should have read

The State Police SWAT team is a very dedicated group with unbelievable patience It was at least three hours before they resorted to using the shock grenade method to get the person's attention.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I just can't do it...........

I tried, I really did, I just can't help but agree with Mayor Macdonald on this one. Anyone who feels that the level of crime in Lewiston, in Auburn, in most any city or town, is somehow limited to minor mayhem, because this is Maine, is seriously in denial.
I've lived in the Lewiston, Auburn area for three decades, and yes I've seen a change in the overall nature of the area. I've seen the gradual changes in crime from the early eighties to the present. I wish I had somehow recorded a typical Friday and Saturday night on my scanner, once in 1985, then again in 2013, then analyze the two recordings. I'm not saying the crime rate has risen overall, but the level of criminal activity has definitely grown more sophisticated over the years. I used to drive my big truck up here from the Roxbury section of Boston every night. I would sit in the office of the old Stride Rite plant in Auburn reading the police log in the local paper while they loaded my truck. From about 1980 until 1983, I used to fantasize of living in an area like L/A. I mean I would drive my car, from my home thru the city's of Dedham, Readville, Hyde Park and all the way through Roxbury to get to work every day. At that time, Roxbury, had one of the highest homicide rates in the country. I have seen homicide victims on the sidewalk as I was heading home after work. I was stopped by police one night because I actually stopped at a red light in the Grove Hall section of Roxbury at two in the morning, not a very safe thing to do. So how could I not be swayed to the more pleasant lifestyle of Lewiston Auburn.
I'm assuming it's my knowledge of different ways of life, that I'm able to more accurately see the very gradual changes taking place. Maybe it was because I afraid of this area becoming the area I left behind for good. I remember in the eighties, Lewiston was plagued with the little gang banger, wanna be's. I distinctly remember news paper articles claiming there is no gang problems in Lewiston, that's just big city crime. They had police interviews, politicians made speeches. They all failed to see the trends of the time. Gang activity doesn't just appear. You don't wake up one day and suddenly find your neighborhood a bloody crime scene. It always starts slow. The worst part is the denial, people will deny it because they fear the truth. They will deny gangs up and down, until one day they have the first shootout, in the street in front of their house.
Right now in Lewiston / Auburn, things are realatively quiet, not as quiet as thirty years ago by a long shot, but quiet. Unless Police and elected officials grasp onto reality now, take advantage of what they can get their hands on now. The level of crime will continue to grow beyond law enforcements capabilities. When that happens, you'll wake up one morning sitting in my old neighborhood, just don't look out the window.............

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

The showdown

Thankfully Lewiston is not exactly Detroit in spite of what the Mayor says, at least not so far. Nevertheless, it appears to me that the most dangerous confrontations, faced by our law enforcement officers, occur when mentally ill people are off their meds and/or there is a domestic incident. From what I read, that occurs far more frequently than the" lesser classes" going into revolt. Given that, it is not inconceivable that there could be a hostage situation involving a business, a school or someone shooting at firemen trying to put out a fire. So I think the mayor is right to accept any equipment the federals want to send our way especially since we have so many folks here in Maine who are so determined to make sure every nut case, criminal and cretin can have unfettered access to any weapon they desire.

David  Cote's picture

Really, Claire?

Lewiston may not be like Detroit, or any other large metropolis. However, Sandy Hook and Columbine aren't like Detroit either, are they?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Is the mayor suggesting the

Is the mayor suggesting the conditions he describes nationally exist in Lewiston, Maine? His last sentence reads like an invitation to a showdown.

ERNEST LABBE's picture

An ounce

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

When do you suppose the city

When do you suppose the city council will approve a budgetary allowance for a water cannon for the new tank?

For the student body of Bates College?

For the student body of Bates College?

( Keene received a BearCat from Homeland Security, some reasoning being the students of Keene State College, a minor disturbance occurred the first time the Red Sox won the World Series... )

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Until the colleges and

Until the colleges and universities of this country admit to themselves and their student bodies that allowing underage drinking on their campuses (campi?) is an illegal activity, there will be alcohol fueled disturbances on campus. Seldom does anyone ever get arrested, however, unless someone throws a punch or a body tackle at a cop.
Lewiston's police department needs a military grade tank like Lewiston needs another place to buy a mediocre pizza.

Ur...

Yes... So much mediocre pizza, so little time..

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The last time I had a really

The last time I had a really great slice of pizza was the last time I went to Salisbury Beach in MA. There is a place in Poland, ME, though, that makes a really great pizza; pie or sliced. If there's a great pizza in Lewiston, I've yet to discover it.

Settling...

People settle for so little... In our age of Anthoney Weiner and Miley Cyrus.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

In their own way, they are

In their own way, they are both sluts.

Also known as...

Attention whores...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Was he omission of the comma

Was he omission of the comma an oversight or was it deliberate? 0O:-)

FRANK EARLEY's picture

No, not a water cannon................

I would stick to the 50cal. Putting a water cannon on the tank, would force the city of Lewiston to paint it red, install lights and siren, and respond to fire scenes with it. I could just hear the call now, Ladder one, engine seven and "tank one", respond to whatever. Much higher insurance rates to, I would imagine........

MARK GRAVE's picture

The problem with militarizing

The problem with militarizing the police force is that we all will say I’ll meet police force with more force.

That is, if the police happen to be serving a warrant on the wrong house at 3:00AM. Kicking down my front door will be met with gunfire - period.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Roger that.

Roger that.

MARK GRAVE's picture

You can find many examples

You can find many examples on-line of police serving warrants on the wrong addresses and inflecting violence on people. This should not be tolerated.

Jason Theriault's picture

No, but

If you look at those examples - the police react poorly, the people protest, but do not resist the officers, and then later on sue and get a payday.

It sucks, but when you resist, you know what happens?

It's best to use the most powerful amendment, the first, to counter government excess. Because ever single person who has used the second amendment to back their cause has lost.

MARK GRAVE's picture

A two second Google search -

Jason Theriault's picture

Did you notice

The police had a valid search warrant. Approved by a judge.

Had you been there, and offered armed resistance, they would have killed you, and had all the cover they needed because of the search warrant.

That's why it's best not to offer armed resistance, because thats what the person in the story did, and they made it out alive and able to latter redress this mistake with the police, who it sounds like will try and exercise more caution.

So again - Free speech leads to change, armed resistance leads to getting shot.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Again, I think you are

Again, I think you are missing the point. The takeaway is that no-knock warrants simply adding risk of injury on both sides of the door.

There have been similar cases where the homeowner shot and kill the police officer. The homeowner was not charged with any crime of course.

Perhaps the discussion should be whether no-knock warrants are good policy instead of blindly saying the warrant was valid. Even then, is a warrant valid if served on the wrong address?

The police are not always in the right.

MARK GRAVE's picture

You are barking up the wrong

You are barking up the wrong tree.

I'm talking about police who kick in doors in the middle of the night at the wrong address. It is reasonable to assume that an innocent person take a defensive posture when they hear someone kicking in the door in the middle of the night.

It is a natural human reaction to defend ones family from home evasion - better to be judged by twelve than carried by six. Far to offend police are not punished for this type of mistake, which should never happen.

Try your Google search again and use "police serve warrant on wrong address".

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Problem with the 12 and 6

Problem with the 12 and 6 analogy is that the six are probably friends of yours ( or guys who are glad to see you gone), but the 12 are people you don't know and 8 out of the dozen probably voted for oBAMA.

MARK GRAVE's picture

evasion -> invasion

evasion -> invasion

Jason Theriault's picture

**Pops some popcorn***

**Pops some popcorn, pulls up a chair, and waits for the show to start**

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

But wait...that's not corn

But wait...that's not corn popping; it's gunshots!!!

Jason Theriault's picture

Funny thing

Where I am posting this, I am within hearing distance of a state police firing range.

So I do hear gunfire at random times...

Jason Theriault's picture

No no

I live in Auburn, it's popcorn.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Yet, but that certainly is

Yet, but that certainly is not the smell of popcorn in Auburn.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

So, tell me my friend, will

So, tell me my friend, will you be joining the fray to save St. Louis Church?

Brian Franck's picture

Yes I will, Mr. St. Jean!

Wait a minute! I have already joined the "fray", or should I say fracas. Actually, I started the "fracas" back in June. That is when Paul St. Jean and Mark Gravel joined in and began giving me a lot of "flak". Try saying this five times real fast: frick, frack, fray, fracas, flak. Boy, that is a mouthful of "fffffs"!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Brian, old skid mark; how are

Brian, old skid mark; how are you? I see you've managed to remove yourself from watching Sesame Street for a brief interlude. Splendid. Chug along old deadbolt.

Brian Franck's picture

Well, Well, Paul St. Jean is speaking with me again!

What is "Sesame Street"? I don't watch much television these days. I am spending an inordinate amount of time battling stupid comments right here on this web site with the likes of Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

IGNORE KEY ACTIVATION! Your

IGNORE KEY ACTIVATION!
Your message cannot be delivered to the intended recipient. Please try again later.

Brian Franck's picture

Sure it can!

He just does not want to read it!

MARK GRAVE's picture

Frack's got a pickle to ride,

Frack's got a pickle to ride, a big green gherkin with the works on the side

Brian Franck's picture

No, Flak! I tell them to hold the anchovies.

I usually drive around in my car, not a pickle. Gherkin? Boy, are you bizarre!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

What do you drive, a

What do you drive, a multi-colored VW Bus or a Prius?

Brian Franck's picture

A Prius would be nice to drive!

But, I drive a 2007 Camry, and it is all black!

MARK GRAVE's picture

No, this pickle you can ride

No, this pickle you can ride but not drive.

MARK GRAVE's picture

No, this pickle your can

No, this pickle your can ride, but not drive.

Brian Franck's picture

Now, why on earth would I want to ride a pickle?

You come up with the dumbest of things to say, Mr. Gravelpit!

MARK GRAVE's picture

I wonder who the Mr. Frack is

I wonder who the Mr. Frack is going to shakedown next? He sure wants to do a lot with other people's money, yet he is unwilling to open up his own wallet. Talk about unadulterated greed.

Brian Franck's picture

Flak doesn't know Jack!

Did I say that I wanted to do something with other people's money? I already know you are a "tightwad", so there is no point in "shaking" you down. All that I would get is pennies. Besides, all that a "gravelpit" is filled with is just a bunch of sand anyways.

MARK GRAVE's picture

"Did I say that I wanted to

"Did I say that I wanted to do something with other people's money?" Actually yes, you stated that you want CMMC to restore St. Joseph's. Since you offer no financial support, readers can only assume you want someone else to foot the bill.

I know guys like you. They get people to go to lunch, everyone orders tuna salad, you order lobster and then claim to split the bill equally. We call that free loading where I'm from.

Brian Franck's picture

Where are you from, the planet Mars?

Because, your comments are getting more and more "alien" to me. Let's get something straight, Dimwit! Central Maine Medical Center is too busy saving peoples' lives to take time or interest in buying old, closed down churches. It is the executives of Central Maine Healthcare Corporation who have simply too much time on their hands, perhaps money as well. So, they go around and buy old, closed down churches and put up parking lots. It gives them something to do in between board meetings.
I don't bother to split the bill. I just let them pay for my meal. It's easier that way.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

He needs to shakedown his TV.

He needs to shakedown his TV. He appears not to know what Sesame Street is. I have no problem with preserving the buildings if that is what the legal owners choose to do. I question the rights of interlopers who attempt to persuade or force them to do things against their wishes where it regards their own properties, but offer no financial solutions other than as you so articulately pointed out, other peoples' money. Same old same old.

Brian Franck's picture

Why would I want to "shakedown " my TV?

You say the dumbest of things, Dumbo! There are no "interlopers" here, just advocates for saving the cultural heritage of the Twin Cities, quite obviously something you and Twiddle Dee do not want to do. The only "same old" here is your obnoxious repetition of "other peoples' money" and "regards their own properties". Can you think of something new to say?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Yes, skidmark; people like

Yes, skidmark; people like you give free riders a bad name. Now, that was pretty new wouldn't you say? Go back to watching Sesame Street. It suits you better, doorknob.

Brian Franck's picture

Toilet Seat! None of what you just said makes any sense!

There he goes again with his "Sesame Street". Talk about broken record! There is nothing new about you, Dumbo, just the same old claptrap.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Frack's got a pickle to ride!

Frack's got a pickle to ride!

Brian Franck's picture

Don't you mean "ticket" to ride?

I would like to give you a one-way ticket to Siberia for the winter!

MARK GRAVE's picture

"Spot on" squawked the

"Spot on" squawked the parrot.

Brian Franck's picture

More stupid comments!

Just plain stupid, not exciting, nothing laughable.

MARK GRAVE's picture

..!.

..!.

Brian Franck's picture

Did you run out of words?

Or, are your thought processes just not jiving in the brain right now?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Is Maine still on your radar

Is Maine still on your radar for October?"

MARK GRAVE's picture

I don't know yet. Wife's mom

I don't know yet. Wife's mom got the gangrene in the foot, so we may have alternative plans.

Brian Franck's picture

Good, just as long as you go in the opposite direction!

I think my brain is going to short circuit in a few seconds from reading all of your "stupid" comments.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Why don't you try minding

Why don't you try minding your own business for a change? Those posts had nothing to do with you.

Brian Franck's picture

Now, if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black,...

then I don't know what is! Where does Mr. St. Jean get off telling someone to mind his or her own business? Does he have eminent domain over these post sites? It was he who asked Jason Theriault: "will you be joining the fray to save St. Louis Church." Mr. St. Jean opened the door to the subject of St. Louis Church again, not I. He gets what he deserves then, my responding to his comment!

Brian Franck's picture

What is the significance of October?

No, I do not use a "radar". It has radiation in it!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

That also is none of your

That also is none of your business. Why don't you go play in the schoolyard with your little 'chums'?

Brian Franck's picture

why? when you are minding everyone else's business!

Just like I said before, you and the Gravelpit stick your noses into a variety of topics offering the usual "worthless" and stupid comments. Don't you want to be telling me instead, Mr. Twiddle Dumb, to go play in traffic?

MARK GRAVE's picture

Perhaps you should take all

Perhaps you should take all your self-acclaimed intelligence back to school and learn want an opinion section of a newspaper is all about. Keep riding that pickle.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I don't know about you Mark,

I don't know about you Mark, but it seems every time I have a verbal exchange with him I feel like I'm dealing with a 12 year old. Don't think I'm going to waste much more time with him. He gets off on name calling and I don't care what he says anymore, so I will simply hit the ignore key on anything he directs my way. And, one thing is clear; he cannot stand being ignored.

MARK GRAVE's picture

I’ve been pretty much

I’ve been pretty much ignoring him for some time. I only speak up when I feel he is trying to get something free on someone’s dime. I agree that perhaps we should start ignoring him like the plague.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Done

Done

MARK GRAVE's picture

Your greatness (me) is coming

Your greatness (me) is coming to town....

Brian Franck's picture

Well, you are not that great!

You guys are so busy typing your daily "stupidity" into the computer, that you are missing out on the real important things! I received a phone call today from Steve Minich of WMTW-TV's Channel 8 News. He wanted to interview me on camera regarding the last Mass and fate of St. Louis Church. That is now two, local television stations contacting me wanting to find out my opinion on these churches in peril.
How many phone calls have you guys received? They know better than to ask a couple of "goofballs"!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Do they realize yet that you

Do they realize yet that you have the IQ of a grape?

Brian Franck's picture

Who are "they"?

Surely, you are referring to yourself. I did not know that "grapes" have IQs. Are they higher or lower than those of "Dumbos"?

MARK GRAVE's picture

Yawn, here is a mouth (or

Yawn, here is a mouth (or blank) full for you.

1. Bend over and grab both of your ankles.
2. Face away from Washington DC.
3. Spell “run” three times fast.

Brian Franck's picture

Now, why would I want to do that?

bend over, that is. What does "Face away from Washington DC" or "Spell 'run' three times fast" have to do with bending over? Besides being just plain stupid, your suggestions don't even make sense! At least, mine are funny. Yours are definitely not!

MARK GRAVE's picture

Where do you see "or" in the

Where do you see "or" in the list of tasks. Is you buddy in yet?

Brian Franck's picture

Oh! You have to do all three tasks at the same time.

I didn't know that. Does it make them more fun? Steve Lindsey is smart. He is staying out of this banal dialogue. "Is 'you' (sic) buddy in yet?" Please take some time and learn how to write. You sound like a "hick". Hey, that rhymes with "Frick"!

MARK GRAVE's picture

Steve is the wise one of the

Steve is the wise one of the duo.

Brian Franck's picture

On that point,....

I will actually agree with you! When will I ever learn from his wise example to avoid dealing with the "riff-raff" in life?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Cops with tanks in the

Cops with tanks in the streets of Lewiston. Adds a whole new dimension to the reference to Lewiston's downtown that was once called the "Combat Zone".

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You hope...

You hope...

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