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Militarizing Police Depts. With Your Bailout Money

 
 
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 07:11 am
http://lonestartimes.com/2009/02/11/militarizing-police-depts-with-your-bailout-money/

Quote:


Militarizing Police Depts. With Your Bailout Money
by texpat · 02/11/2009 1:57 pm

George Orwell, call your office !

If prostitution is the world’s oldest profession, then city mayors follow a very close second. In fact, it occurs to me they may be the spiritual offspring of the aforementioned liaisons. Whenever there is loose change or unclaimed dollar bills laying around, mayors can smell them a mile away and if a Sugar Daddy offers free cash, they never stop to question what the vigorish might be. The urban emperors, suburban commissars, the hack and the highbrow, the Republican and Democrat, the apolitical and amoral, the exurban apparatchiks all assemble to line dance down Pennsylvania Avenue like ladies of the evening on the way to a golden score with Big Daddy.

The United States Conference of Mayors has assembled the most ridiculous and repulsive example of government excess I think I have ever seen. Here is a PDF file of the document which stretches to 344 pages. One of the most alarming features of this civic gluttony is the gift list request for funds to buy military SWAT assault equipment for police forces like the examples offered here by Texas blogger and Reason.com contributor, Trey Garrison:

Quote:

* Frisco wants $125,000 for an armored vehicle and $200,000 for a mobile command vehicle. You know, for all that gang tank warfare going on up in Frisco.

* McKinney wants $5 million for SWAT toys and stuff.

* North Richland Hills wants $51,000 for volunteer patrol volunteers. Let’s throw in $10 for a dictionary so they can look up the word “volunteer.”

* Irving wants $5 million for biometric scanners, digital cameras, RFID scanners " nothing Big Brother there.

* Grand Prairie wants $1.25 million for nicer landscaping around the public safety building.

* And finally, Arlington is really gearing up for urban warfare. Arlington wants $1.6 million for SWAT toys including more equipment for those deadly but camera-friendly no-knock raids, $56,000 for military grade carbines, $625,000 for unmanned aerial surveillance drones, and $130,000 for “covert ops.”


Here is the “Public Safety” wish list from the US Conference of Mayors.

Radley Balko, of The Agitator and contributing editor of Reason, offers these galling examples of cops gone Rambo:
Quote:

• Sparks, Nevada wants $600,000 to purchase a “live fire” house its SWAT team can shoot up, and another $420,000 for a SWAT armored vehicle.

• Pleasanton, California wants $250,000 to buy a vehicle for its SWAT team.

• Gary, Indiana wants $750,000 for a host of “modernization” upgrades to its police department, including “sub-automatic machine guns” and an “armored vehicl” [sic].

• Hampton, Virginia wants a whopping $3.5 million for “Air Tactical Unit Support and Equipment,” which I’m pretty sure means they want a sweet helicopter for the SWAT team.

• Ottawa, Illinois (population: 18,307) wants $60,000 to purchase, among other things, five “tactical entry rifles.”

• Glendale Heights, Illinois wants $96,000 to purchase red light cameras, and another $67,000 to hire someone to monitor them.

• Toward a more Orwellian America! The following cities requested stimulus funds to supplement, initiate, or upgrade public surveillance camera systems: Brockton, Massachusetts; Buffalo, New York; Burnsville, Minnesota; Caguas, Puerto Rico; Cerritos, California; Columbia, South Carolina; Compton, California; Homestead, Florida; Hormigueros, Puerto Rico; Indianapolis, Indiana; Inglewood, California; Lewiston, Maine; Lorain, Ohio; Lynn, Massachusetts; Marion, Ohio; Merced, California; New Rochelle, New York; North Richland Hills, Texas; Oakland, California; Orange, New Jersey; Orem, Utah; Orlando, Florida; Pembroke Pines, Florida; Ponce, Puerto Rico; Riverdale, Illinois; Shreveport, Louisiana; Silver City, New Mexico; Sumter, South Carolina; Tallahassee, Florida; Warren, Ohio; and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina requested just under $85 million in security-related stimulation. But top prize goes to Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is asking the rest of the country to stimulte its economy with a whopping $135 million in public safety-related requests.

All in all, America’s mayors asking for a little over $5.5 billion in public safety “stimulus.”


The city of La Porte, Texas has applied for $700,000 to build a “Lifestyle Center” while the city of Houston wants a whopping $175,000,000 to build the “Metro Houston Intermodal Terminal” in downtown Houston. I could go on, but I am nauseated by reading these documents. Readers will have to carry on in my absence while I try to recover.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 07:55 am
I realize I should take the time to study up on how all this works, becuase I really don't quite get it but this story reminds me of a time a few years back that I took my son to a bike safety expo.

The police department was there showing off some new urban assault vehicle thing -- essentially a tank. I was asking the guard cop what it was for and he didn't really know. He said "They made Homeland Security money available and if we didn't ask for something we wouldn't get the money." so the department had asked for the tank and received the tank even though nobody really knew what the heck they would ever use it for.

That seemed perfectly stupid to me.

As does this.

So I'm just going to read along and see if someone can shed some light on this for me.
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 08:21 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
So I'm just going to read along and see if someone can shed some light on this for me.


I view it more or less thus... This "Stimulus(TM)" package is a political version of Pandora's box. For a new administration to try to start off straight out of the gates trying to demand a way to spend this much money is about power and trying to achieve a monopoly on power, and not about stimulating anything, least of all the American economy.

Adolf Hitler noted that nobody in the modern world gains power via any sort of a revolution; rather, you gain the power FIRST, and then you do your revolution. That is what this whole business looks like to me.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 09:15 am
I'm trying to follow...

You blame the Obama administration for Sparks, Nevada's (population 66,346 at the 2000 census) request for a million dollars worth of SWAT team stuff?
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 09:23 am
@gungasnake,
Ok, so it's some lists of what mayors and states are asking for but there is no evidence that any of them are getting it.

Shouldn't the title be "Xmas list" or some such thing? The article makes it sound like it's all being spent when there is no evidence of any of it making it in the bill yet.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 11:22 am
@boomerang,
You should blame Obama for dangling the money in front of them so they'd ask.

Again the basic plan appears to be simply to sell the United States into slavery on a permanent basis and make the peasants (you and me) dependent on the libtard overlords forever.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 12:31 pm
I'm no rocket surgeon but nothing about this seems the least bit revolutionary to me.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 01:27 pm
The militarization of police departments is worrying but it has been happening long before the bailout. Sheriff Leon Lott of Richland County, South Carolina, the guy who's on the Michael Phelps witch, hunt has an armored personnel carrier with a .50 caliber machine gun. Here's the idiot posing with it (he named it the "Peacemaker" after a Bible verse):

http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/1430/putdownthetvwb9.jpg

What kind of peace needs to be made by police in South Carolina that needs a .50 caliber machine gun? The worst thing is that these paramilitary additions to the police force are largely planned for use in drug raids, or in other words stopping adults from consensual and mostly non-violent crimes.

The police in the US are out of control and "accidental deaths" in police custody have spiked ever since police departments started buying new toys like tasers. Americans should be wary of arming the police with such weapons, these aren't the kind of weapons that I want to pay to put to use against our own citizens for infractions like drugs and I'm dumbfounded that citizens don't seem to bat an eye when police use their tax money to buy these weapons to use against them.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 09:08 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Look for some strange reason police forces seem to like to play at being solders however any swat team that would meet up with a real military force would not last more then a few seconds.

Two repeat two fools with home make body armor and AK-47s fought a fairly long gun battle with police in CA for example. A few real soldiers would have taken them out in minutes.

Another gentleman created a home make tank from a bulldozer and with it destroy a fairly large percent of his home town and the local swat team was powerless to stop him.

Military equipment in the hands of local police is silly but hardly a threat to our freedoms.
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 01:06 am
@BillRM,
Quote:

Military equipment in the hands of local police is silly but hardly a threat to our freedoms.


Except as our 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendment rights continue to decline, the window where we are truly free continues to close.

You're correct, in that a police swat team is no match for a military unit. They don't have to be. But everything is relative, I guess.

As time goes on, and our freedoms continue to diminish, they eventually will only have to be a match for a few malcontents with baseball bats...
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 02:52 am
@A Lone Voice,
The biggest single piece of the problem is the war on drugs. Get rid of THAT, and the process might be slowed eneough for some of the old system to recover.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 08:56 am
@gungasnake,
War on drug, war on terror and war on child porn all grant the government ever increasing rights/abilities to monitor the general public.

I love the idea that was floated a few years ago that ISPs would scan everyone email looking for child porn and god know what else beside.

The tracking capabilities now build into the cell phone system as a matter of course for 911 reasons. Still do not understand the need to keep records of everyone cell phone locations going back for many weeks or more if the tracking is there only for 911 calls!

And on and on we go. Still swat teams have zero ability to stand up either to military force or large groups of arm citizens for that matter and in my mind 50 cal machines guns or not they are hardly a large threat to our freedom.
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 05:07 pm
@gungasnake,
Quote:

The biggest single piece of the problem is the war on drugs. Get rid of THAT, and the process might be slowed eneough for some of the old system to recover.


I agree with you.

The War on Drugs has been one of the biggest excuses to chip away at our 2nd Amendment rights over the years. Too much money, too much bad case law, too much Fed power.

But do you think it will ever end? Honestly?
0 Replies
 
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 05:13 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:

War on drug, war on terror and war on child porn all grant the government ever increasing rights/abilities to monitor the general public.

I love the idea that was floated a few years ago that ISPs would scan everyone email looking for child porn and god know what else beside.

The tracking capabilities now build into the cell phone system as a matter of course for 911 reasons. Still do not understand the need to keep records of everyone cell phone locations going back for many weeks or more if the tracking is there only for 911 calls!

And on and on we go. Still swat teams have zero ability to stand up either to military force or large groups of arm citizens for that matter and in my mind 50 cal machines guns or not they are hardly a large threat to our freedom.



But as time goes on, and that large group of citizens you refer to is armed with nothing larger than a .22 caliber rifle or shotgun with birdshot due to the passing of 'sensible gun laws', what then?

Maybe a threat to our freedom then?
0 Replies
 
 

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