Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Militarized Police Departments: Part 2

Back in 2011, I nominated militarized police departments as a Bully of The Year Nominee.  I spoke of how our police and sheriff departments are becoming occupying armies instead of governmental agencies that are supposed to "protect and serve".  Since that posting, we have seen an increase in the frequency and even the severity of the use of military style tactics and weapons in seemingly every day police operations.

Now comes a puff peace from Yahoo touting the "hottest new police car", the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle.  That's right.  Thanks to a surplus of heavy military vehicles specifically designed to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (at the cost of over $800 thousand each), our local police and sheriff departments will be able to receive their very own MRAP (or maybe more than one) to storm the local cock fight.

Do our police and sheriff departments truly require such heavy military vehicles and weapons?  In my view, they have already come up with excuses to explain their "need": The possibility of mass shootings.

From The Murfreesboro Post:
Concluding his comments just prior to the vote on the matter, Rainwater threw the council and audience a curve when he suddenly protested the Murfreesboro Police Department's recent acquisition of an armored personnel carrier with a grant for military surplus.

"I am going to say the most important thing I have ever said to the City Council," he said. "Give the MRAP back."

City councilmen and audience members alike looked to each other in bewilderment, prompting Mayor Tommy Bragg to explain that "MRAP" is simply an acronym for a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle.

Councilman Toby Gilley then explained that the Police Department had acquired the vehicle at no cost in order to employ it as a tool in "threats from armed gunmen."
These MRAPs will do nothing to prevent or even stop the next Columbine or Sandy Hook shooting spree.  All they will do is tear up our already fragile infrastructure and intimidate the populace at large.  And maybe the latter is what is truly behind the desire to have these military vehicles used by our police and sheriff departments.  I am sure Sheriff Arpaio is wanting to get his hands on a few.

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