In Southern California there is a police department that is currently on its highest terror alert status as police officers on and off duty guard against terror attacks specifically aimed at their police department and their community.
A 911 call to a police operator from an unidentified caller that threatened the blowing up of a police car in the Hemet-San Jacinto area within the next 24 to 48 hours has an entire police force on edge.
Police Chief Richard Dana verified that the caller said the attack would be in retaliation for the recent law enforcement sweep against the Vagos Motorcycle Club.
According to Captain Walter Meyer of the Riverside County Sheriffs Department, the Vagos is California’s largest motorcycle gang. Known for violence, the gang specializes in the sale of methamphetamine that includes the tri-state area of Arizona, Nevada and Utah.
On Wednesday About 30 members of the Vagos, were arrested in Riverside County following a sting operation that involved the manufacturing, sale and distribution of methamphetamine in the aforementioned tri-state area.
Police investigators believe that the gang is responsible for setting a couple of booby traps that were designed to kill and maim police officers. The first trap involved inserting a natural gas pipe through a drilled hole in the roof of the headquarters of the police “Gang enforcement unit”. Investigators have concluded that the gang intended to create an explosion caused by gas fumes and a spark.
The second booby trap involved a zip gun type device being attached to a sliding security fence around the department building. An unsuspecting police officer opened the black steel gate and triggered the mechanism, which sent a bullet flying within eight inches of his face.
In the end, civilians and police officers who worked at the California gang enforcement unit were fortunate to escape two close calls that were intended to cause death, injuries and destruction. It appears that criminals in the United States have adopted and implemented terroristic tactics learned from studying insurgents who have dedicated their life to killing our troops in the streets and deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Police Chief Dana, along with District Attorney Rod Pacheco and state Attorney General Jerry Brown urged the public at a recent news conference to help with identifying and capturing the person or persons responsible for the Hemet-area booby traps aimed at officers and civilians.
Several state, local and national police agencies have banded together to put forward a $200,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. The incidents have shaken a close-knit police department already demoralized by deep budget cuts that last year that saw its officer personnel numbers slashed by 25 percent.
Police officers in response to the impending danger are checking under cars for bombs and scouting for other potential hazards.
“I would call the mood in the department tense,” says police Captain Tony Marghis. “Everyone is being very vigilant about their surroundings and the environment.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, California’s Attorney General Jerry Brown said Thursday that the incidents were a form of “urban terrorism.”
“It is incredible and even unprecedented for police officers here to be subjected to a terrorist attack,” Brown was quoted in the Times. “We have seen it south of the border but not here yet.”
What is apparent is that domestic criminals are now singling out an entire police department for death in retaliation for police doing what they were sworn to do; which is to serve and protect the public. Has the criminal mind determined that terror is their best weapon when confronted by local and state police? Are we witnessing in 2010 an evolution of tactics used by criminals in the inner city and rural community that are here to stay?
Once the individual(s) are apprehended should they be treated as any other enemy combatant that tries to kill Americans? As always, the New Orleans beepwire.com is interested in what you think. Inquiring minds want to know. Sound off.
Until next time Louisianans, Good day, God Bless and Good Fishing.