Armored vehicles, humvees, body armor, sniper rifles being deployed by local police
Armored vehicles. Humvees. Body armor. Sniper rifles. This heavy-duty equipment that for years has been used on the battlefield is now being deployed by local law enforcement.
The federal government has made it possible. Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, Tennessee has received $153 million in Homeland Security funds, while Virginia has received $207 million, according to a study by the Center for Investigative Reporting. While some of the money has been used to purchase radios and computers, much has brought high-tech hardware to local law enforcement agencies.
There has been some criticism of what has been called the “militarization of local law enforcement.” Some opponents say local law enforcement agencies have changed from the days of Barney Fife, the beloved deputy portrayed by Don Knotts on “The Andy Griffith Show.” There is concern that increased guns and armor have transformed the culture of law enforcement and can lead to an excessive use of force.
“It’s kind of had a corrupting influence on the culture of policing in America,” Cato Institute Director Tim Lynch said in a recently published interview. “The trend toward militarization was well under way before 9/11, but it’s the federal policy of making surplus military equipment available almost for free that has poured fuel on this fire.”
Norm Stamper, the retired police chief of Seattle and author of “Breaking Rank,” is concerned about the changing culture among law enforcement agencies. He said there are times when high-powered guns and armored vehicles are needed, but he is worried that it fosters an “us” versus “them” mentality, something that should be on a battlefield and not part of a local community.
“Soldiers follow orders, and police officers make decisions,” Stamper said. “These are life and death decisions. …When we foster this military, paramilitary mentality we are just reinforcing an officers’ mentality. They have been implicitly licensed that whenever we suit up we are out to face the enemy.”
After the Civil War, the U.S. passed the Posse Comitatus Act. The law ended the occupation of the South, but also established a separation between military and civil law enforcement. The boundaries blurred in the 1980s, when then-President Ronald Reagan used the military in drug intervention cases.
ADDED: Consider this story while reading the one we posted earlier by Radley Balko regarding “The War On Cops That Wasn’t” and what you begin to see is the alarming fact that; It is indeed the cops who either want to be in a war with the populace or actually think they are in one now… they sure are prepping as if its so.
Heck even the Department of Homeland Security is gearing up; they just bought over 450 MILLION rounds of .40 caliber pistol ammunition…
Welcome to The United Police States of Amerika…