SWAT Grievance Claims On-Call System No Good
Claiming that the city’s on-call system for SWAT team members doesn’t work and places officers and members of the public in danger, a member of the team has filed a grievance with the city demanding a new system.
The grievance, filed by Officer Joseph Ferenzi of the SWAT team and spearheaded by Field Rep. Bob Bartlett, claims that the department’s failed on-call system led to a potentially unnecessary loss of life in a June incident in which a man took his own life.
According to the grievance, the incident, which took place on South Commercial Avenue, went south because the city could not muster enough officers to respond to the incident. The 24-year-old man was shot once by a SWAT member, then took his own life.
“The callout of off-duty SWAT officers took place and after calling over 50 members one by one, only eight were able to respond to this critical incident,” the grievance stated. “This was not enough manpower to secure a proper perimeter. The result was the armed subject was able to break the perimeter, which endangered citizens, district personnel and members of the SWAT team.”
The lack of on-scene manpower also prevented on-scene negotiators to de-escalate the stand-off, the grievance alleges.
The FOP is demanding that the city maintain a dedicated number of SWAT members who can respond to an emergency during off-duty hours.