Anybody Else Want to Negotiate?

Non-violent tactics work. Now PPD wants a kill house.

2 mins read
A group of people standing next to a door
Photo: Master Sgt. Jefferson Thompson / U.S. Air National Guard

Less than a week after the Pasadena Police Department (PPD) listed an opportunity for vendors to supply local cops with a controversial mobile surveillance tower, they issued a sealed bid proposal for something straight out of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Their own shoot house.

Here’s the project summary:

The City of Pasadena, CA Police Department is seeking proposals from qualified vendors for the purchase and delivery of a fully equipped mobile police simunition shoot house. The purpose of this shoot house is to provide a realistic training environment for law enforcement officers to practice close-quarter combat scenarios and improve their tactical skills. The shoot house shall be easily transportable and scalable to accommodate different training needs.
a stand-off training simulation
Simuntion rounds fly in a simulated hostage training scenario at an Oregon kill house. Photo: Master Sgt. Jefferson Thompson / U.S. Air National Guard

Per Wikipedia, a kill or shoot house is a type of indoor firing range modified to resemble a residential environment used to train soldiers and police for various urban combat scenarios.

In other words, PPD wants to train for the best way to enter your house or apartment and kill someone as efficiently as possible without getting killed themselves.

We had to look up the details about “simunition” after our spell checker flagged the term in PPD’s requirements list. It’s a brand name for “realistic, non-lethal and non-toxic ammunition and training” offered by military supplier General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems.

Other products General Dynamics makes include armaments, missile subsystems, munitions, “energetics,” and personnel protection systems.

By way of comparison with simunition ammunition, the video below provides some insight into what’s required when live fire kill houses are used instead.

In short, a kill house is used to train specifically for close-quarters combat (CQC), a short-duration, high-intensity conflict characterized by lethal violence at close range.

What’s interesting is PPD appears to be trading a preference for negotiating with armed, barricaded suspects for a tactic of direct confrontation.

A review of barricade situations in Pasadena reveals that, besides being rare occurrences, a strategy of negotiation has successfully resolved tense situations when suspects were actually armed with BB guns.

With local, repeated kill house training, odds are that one or more future encounters with BB gun-toting suspects will result in fatalities.

In addition to the money for the mobile surveillance tower, we asked the City of Pasadena’s spokesperson to identify the source of funding PPD is using to pay for both of these acquisitions. The response several days ago was, “trying to find that out.”

It must not be easy to find out.

So we looked at the City of Pasadena’s 2024 budget key performance indicators for the PPD to see if acquiring a surveillance tower or a kill house were mentioned as goals.

Interestingly, the PPD key performance indicator list doesn’t mention anything about increasing surveillance of Pasadena citizens or about training for urban combat.

In our article about PPD shopping for the tower, we asked how far down the road toward the militarization of our police department Pasadena is willing to go.

Less than a week later, the end is still not in sight.

The short URL of this article is:

Phil Hopkins

Phil is the Associate Publisher of Local News Pasadena. He is a 35-year resident of the city and his favorite local delicacy is the Combo Grinder at Connal's.
Email: [email protected]

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