LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – When SWAT teams are deployed there are so many unknowns about what they’re responding too.
“It becomes a dangerous situation if they can see what we’re doing before we do it,” says Pulaski County Sheriff’s SWAT Team Leader Lieutenant Chris Ameling.
A video surfaced on social media last week showing a SWAT team in Hot Springs surrounding a home. A man wanted on federal drug warrants allegedly barricaded himself inside.
“Watching the police raid the neighbors,” the woman on Facebook says.
Lt. Ameling says live streaming video is a growing concern for tactical teams.
“It’s about safety. I mean, you see them. They’re moving across the street. They’re trying to get to positions where they can set up,” says Lt. Ameling.
During a standoff, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office has two perimeters. The first is for law enforcement and people who live near the suspect. The second perimeter is for onlookers. It’s the people inside the first perimeter, streaming on the web, who can let a suspect know exactly where SWAT team members are located.
“And, they’re backing up,” says the woman on Facebook.
Lt. Ameling says it may get to a point where law enforcement has to evacuate nearby homes so people don’t stream on the web.
“I know where they’re at. They’re not behind trees, they’re not behind the patrol car right here. They’re behind that armored vehicle. If I start shooting around that range there’s a pretty good chance I’ll hit somebody,” says Lt. Ameling.
He understands people want to record a SWAT situation but hopes common sense comes first.
“Here they go,” says the woman on Facebook.
Authorities say there hasn’t been a case in Central Arkansas where a suspect watched a live streaming video but Lt. Ameling says the recent ambush on Dallas Police and the attacks in France are examples of live streaming video being a tactical disadvantage