Yak Attack

A place to unwind and spend some time yakking.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Just Say No Part 2

Police are shaking things up a bit in places besides Denver. In Western Washington, holiday emphasis patrols involve police peeking in shoppers’ cars at local malls, looking to see if any criminal enticement fodder is visible. In Miami, the police started Operation Miami Shield yesterday. The goal for Miami Shield: “... to avoid routine, and keep terrorists guessing where police might show up.”

That sounds like an admirable goal, on the surface. As always, it’s all in the presentation i.e. make it sound innocuous. If the goal is so mild, why does Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez describe it as an “in-your-face type of strategy?” Whose faces are Miami PD's intended targets, since it appears that those who will be hassled are the same ones they’re supposed to serve and protect?

Claire Wolfe blogged about Operation Miami Shield this morning, linking to an AP article written by Curt Anderson. The article is dated yesterday, the 28th, and specifically mentions random ID checks as part of the plan. However, this version of the same story, also written by Curt Anderson, is speckled all over the Internet with today’s date. In today’s article, police spokesman Angel Calzadilla is quoted as saying there would be no random ID checks.

Apparently, someone said a bit too much. A retraction of the hypothetical ID check scenario states that it should have made clear that checking IDs would only be done with cause. It’s still “in-your-face” and all that stuff, just no random ID checks. That is, unless you’re maybe riding the bus or wearing a coat that’s too heavy for the weather.

Mary Ann Viverette, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, is quoted correlating Miami Shield to those endearing holiday season programs to deter criminal activity at busy places like shopping malls. Look out Western Washington.


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