With regards to the Department of Homeland Security/Cincinnati SWAT team training on campus, there are several reasons why I, along with several other UC students, people in the community, my parents, and other students parents, are concerned with what went on this past week.
I believe as taxpayers on a student-funded campus at a public university, we should be notified ahead of time when training drills like this will be occurring. Most students that walk past a squad of DHS/SWAT dressed up in their black uniforms with body armor, full face masks, riot shields, handguns, and AR-15 style rifles probably wonder what is wrong — not to mention that this might be an intimidating sight that makes students fearful and worried.
Having a training drill like this on campus during any regular day is one thing, but having an unannounced display of militarized police on 9/11 is taking it to another level that many find very distasteful.
When I politely approached them and asked what was going on and what they were doing, they were not pleased to talk to me. The only answer I got was a bold “Training,” and that was all. This short answer only leaves students wondering why a city SWAT team is working with the federal Department of Homeland Security and would need full riot gear on campus as if we, the students, would be the potential threat they are training to take on.
Personally, this makes me very apprehensive. It appeared that I wasn’t the only student who was questioning what was going on when I came across this video of a fellow student asking some simple questions as well. At first, he got the same one word answer I got from a different person. Then, what appears to be the supervisor walks up to him to talk. By courteously exercising his freedom of speech and press, he was told to stop asking questions and ‘interrogating’ the officer. As a tax-funded officer, many people see his actions as a rude usurpation of authority.Published in