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masameet
05-13-2009, 10:48 AM
How often do LEOs demand to have a new superior and the superior agrees with them? (I think LAPD did that not too long ago but I'm not really sure.)
OAKLAND Members of the Police Department's SWAT team have asked that the unit's commander be reassigned over concerns about his leadership abilities in the wake of the fatal shootings of two SWAT officers March 21, law enforcement sources said Tuesday.

Sources said Capt. Ed Tracey requested to senior commanders that he be relieved of his SWAT command, but his request was denied. As of Tuesday, he was still commanding the department's special operations division, which includes the SWAT team and traffic unit.

SWAT team members made their request after a recent meeting with Tracey and a counselor who was there to help the officers deal with anger and grief over their fellow officers' deaths.

The SWAT team members' main concern about Tracey is that he chose to be at Highland Hospital, where two traffic officers had been taken after being mortally wounded by parolee Lovelle Mixon during a traffic stop, rather than commanding the operation that led to the raid on an East Oakland apartment during which Mixon and two SWAT officers were killed in a gunbattle.

While Tracey was with the families of Sgt. Mark Dunakin and Officer John Hege at the hospital, there were command staff with SWAT team experience at the apartment who decided to go forward with the raid.
Oakland Tribune (http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandtribune/localnews/ci_12354816)

bluestaterebel
05-13-2009, 7:15 PM
Well what he did doesnt sound that outrageous, it may have been the last straw to other actions. there must be other reasons that led to the officers request for him to be reassigned. It sounds that even the Captain himself believes he should be reassigned.

Obviously the department is going to do what they want regrdless of what the captain or the officers think

tyrist
05-13-2009, 8:38 PM
If the team doesn't have confidence in him then he cannot command. When you are in a unit like swat it's all about team work. Any Commanding Officer worth anything would resign if they lost control of the team in that type of unit.

masameet
05-13-2009, 8:53 PM
The thing is, he is head of both Traffic and SWAT. With two of his motors dead and OPD officers crying their eyes out at the hospital (as it was reported in an early news story), I can understand his need to be there. Still if a commander needs to be with the living for a mission, I can understand why his SWAT team would later question his allegiance with two of their dead in the aftermath. Circumstances put him between a rock and a hard place. (And I agree: the mission should have taken precedence over grief and pain.)

As an aside, at the memorial I thought Capt. Tracey's eulogy/speech very inspiring. Can only imagine that his words also must've created conflict for the SWAT team.

DANGERCLOSE
05-13-2009, 9:29 PM
they should have a separate unit leader for both divisions to avoid a conflict if you will. another leader possibly could have stepped in during his absence. again, i do not know him, and this is my opinion.

bluestaterebel
05-13-2009, 9:30 PM
The thing is, he is head of both Traffic and SWAT. With two of his motors dead and OPD officers crying their eyes out at the hospital (as it was reported in an early news story), I can understand his need to be there. Still if a commander needs to be with the living for a mission, I can understand why his SWAT team would later question his allegiance with two of their dead in the aftermath. Circumstances put him between a rock and a hard place. (And I agree: the mission should have taken precedence over grief and pain.)

As an aside, at the memorial I thought Capt. Tracey's eulogy/speech very inspiring. Can only imagine that his words also must've created conflict for the SWAT team.

I think based on what i know of this story, the Captain was doing the right thing. Believe me, the SWAT guys dont need their Captain running around telling them what to do, they know what to do. Like i said in my earlier post, there is more to this story. It sounds like he SWAT guys already had it in for him, probably incompetence but not because he went to the hospital to see wounded officers and and their families.

If there is an officer shot and in the hospital, the captain and the chief better damn well be at the hospital, let the tactical guys handle the tacital situation.

bluestaterebel
05-13-2009, 9:33 PM
they should have a separate unit leader for both divisions to avoid a conflict if you will. another leader possibly could have stepped in during his absence. again, i do not know him, and this is my opinion.

I am pretty sure there are plenty of leaders in the field.

They dont need brass there, most of the time they make things worse anyway

BigDogatPlay
05-14-2009, 7:51 PM
I am pretty sure there are plenty of leaders in the field.

They dont need brass there, most of the time they make things worse anyway

+1

Unless there are some restrictive takes within the department on how the team deploys in a given situation, the on scene IC and the SWAT team commander should be expected to be calling the plays without having to worry about what the captain thinks.

In my mind protocol dictates that as the CO of the two men who were initially killed, his place was with the families and the officers at the hospital doing whatever he needed to do to make sure things were taken care of.

No personal knowledge on my part, but I have to agree that there is more to all this than will ever get outside of the department. The couple of OPD SWAT guys who I've met over the years didn't strike me as needing to have their hands held for them by the brass while engaged in an op.

That another captain is publicly throwing him under the bus seems all the more out of place.

TheBundo
05-14-2009, 11:00 PM
I think based on what i know of this story, the Captain was doing the right thing. Believe me, the SWAT guys dont need their Captain running around telling them what to do, they know what to do. Like i said in my earlier post, there is more to this story. It sounds like he SWAT guys already had it in for him, probably incompetence but not because he went to the hospital to see wounded officers and and their families.

If there is an officer shot and in the hospital, the captain and the chief better damn well be at the hospital, let the tactical guys handle the tacital situation.

I agree. If one single man is that critical to a fairly large city's SWAT team, somethings wrong. How could that man ever have a day off, much less a vacation out of the area. There definitely has to be another reason.

MP301
05-15-2009, 12:38 AM
I personally think with what information is available, (especially after speaking with my former OPD swat sniper father), that the SWAT guys need to first think about the tactical error of going in too quickly. The guy was contained....he wasnt going anywhere....and he obviously didnt have any issues about shooting cops...

At the time of the raid, the only ones that were shot were the traffic guys. That is where the Tracey needed to be. Additionally I would be surprised if the incident commander wasnt on the phone with Tracey during the operation. If he wasnt given a play by play via phone, then it was the IC that made the (possibly) bad decision to go in so soon.

When the BG is contained, time is always on the side of the police. For officer safety, public relations, etc., It makes sense to try other means first, mentally wear the guy out into giving up, etc....and you can still go in a shoot the crap outta him if that doesnt work!


What I find interesting here, and should say a lot about Tracey, is that OPD said no to the transfer. Even with Tracey requesting the transfer as well, how often does that happen? OPD obviously doesnt think it was Tracey's F up and apparently he's the best for the job... Interesting

heyeugenio
05-15-2009, 1:58 PM
I personally think with what information is available, (especially after speaking with my former OPD swat sniper father), that the SWAT guys need to first think about the tactical error of going in too quickly. The guy was contained....he wasnt going anywhere....and he obviously didnt have any issues about shooting cops...

...I believe there was more to it than just adrenaline and anger, read on...

When the BG is contained, time is always on the side of the police. For officer safety, public relations, etc., It makes sense to try other means first, mentally wear the guy out into giving up, etc....and you can still go in a shoot the crap outta him if that doesnt work!
Amen to that! However, from what I understood, there was, or were, minor(s) inside of where BG was holed up and was one of the reasons they couldn't "smoke/flash bang" BG out was due to their presence...dunno, and don't care to speak on it since I didn't do the entry personally nor am I on the team. You know, hard to say unless we were there.


What I find interesting here, and should say a lot about Tracey, is that OPD said no to the transfer. Even with Tracey requesting the transfer as well, how often does that happen? OPD obviously doesnt think it was Tracey's F up and apparently he's the best for the job... Interesting

I personally found Tracey's eulogy quite moving as well..."Ride on brothers..."

masameet
06-02-2009, 3:42 PM
For those of you interested, here's a link to a recent (today?) news conference video of OPD's Acting Chief Howard Jordan and Capt. Ed Tracey on March 21 and the subsequent no confidence vote:

http://www.contracostatimes.com/video?bctid=24959023001