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America 'Has Become a War Zone'

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the local-weed-dealer-mines-front-yard dept.

United States 875

An anonymous reader writes, quoting Business Insider: "Eight different law enforcement agencies in Indiana have purchased massive Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAP) that were formerly used in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mark Alesia reports for the Indy Star. Pulaski County, home to 13,124 people, is one of the counties that have purchased an 55,000 pound, six-wheeled patrol vehicles, from military surplus. When asked to justify the purchase of a former military vehicle, Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer told the Indy Star: "The United States of America has become a war zone."'

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War of government against people? (5, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 5 months ago | (#47199079)

If law enforcement needs this type of equipment, then it has long abandoned any pretense of serving the people and has instead reverted to its original purpose of fighting the people for those in power.

Re:War of government against people? (5, Informative)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 5 months ago | (#47199123)

the police don't actually have to protect the citizens.

this is worth watching.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

it is also worth noting that the US is safer now than ever before.

on the other hand, the real deal is there are a surplus of military equipment that can be useful in all kinds of scenarios. the high clearance of an RG33 would be good in a flood, and good for active-shooter scenarios. might as well snap them up if the price is good.

Re:War of government against people? (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 months ago | (#47199317)

This is the most relevant point:

the US is safer now than ever before.

And not just a little. FAR safer. Violent crime is less than half what it was 20 years ago. And even less compared to 30 years ago.

The only "increasing" violence is news-media propaganda. Because chicks hatching on the farm does not sell news.

In fact, some recent studies have concluded that it was news media coverage, and not guns, which led to copy-cat "mass" shootings on college and other school campuses. (But even so, and even though they are splashed all over the news, THOSE are way down, too, compared to 2-3 decades ago.)

American does not have "increasing" internal violence. It has decreasing violence.

And during the same period, it is interesting to not, per-capita gun ownership in the U.S. has gone steadily up. And also during that same period, concealed-carry laws have become much more common. [postimg.org]

Statistics do not prove cause-and-effect. But a negative correlation can DISprove cause-and-effect.

We have more guns. (Per person!) According to our own government's statistics. Yet we have less violent crime. This is a direct, indisputable DISproof of the idea that "more guns equals more crime".

[Sources: U.S. DOJ, and for more recent years: U.S. Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics]

Re:War of government against people? (4, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 5 months ago | (#47199367)

I'm pro-gun (or at least anti gun restriction), but it's hardly indisputable disproof.

Guns may be contributing to violent crime; other factors may just be having a greater impact the other way.

It's not my personal belief, but the logic just isn't there for your "indisputable" fact.

Re:War of government against people? (-1, Troll)

Entrope (68843) | about 5 months ago | (#47199417)

Let me share a video with you of Hitler's response to tobacco companies claiming "the logic just isn't there for your 'indisputable'" link between smoking and cancer...

The evidence is clearer and more abundant for the link that Jane Q. Public alleges than for a great many things that social science takes for granted. Yeah, that level of "proof" would never fly for physics or even biology, but it is considerably easier to perform experiments in those domains than in epidemiology and political science.

Re:War of government against people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199403)

American does not have "increasing" internal violence.

Is that the country next to Canadia?

Re:War of government against people? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#47199483)

Mmmmm-Hmmmm... just north of Texico.

Re:War of government against people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199509)

American does not have "increasing" internal violence.

Is that the country next to Canadia?

Canada?

Is that the country with strict gun laws that just had a mass shooting [ctvnews.ca] where the killer was at large for several days?

But no, such an event in a country with strict gun laws doesn't fit the narrative you want to hear, now does it?

Re: War of government against people? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199407)

"Statistics do not prove cause-and-effect. But a negative correlation can DISprove cause-and-effect."
False. Correlation cannot prove causality. End of discussion.

Re:War of government against people? (5, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about 5 months ago | (#47199449)

Well, I certainly agree with most of your points (I normally do) but have to debate one particular omission from yours and GPs comments. Violence by Police departments has escalated drastically in the same time as criminal violence has gone down. Police brutality is close to a daily occurrence today, and not just the cops manhandling a suspected felon but outright killing people.

Sure, some of this happened in the past but not to the extremes we are seeing today.

This has a potentially rubber banding effect on society. Oppressed people surely don't take the same chances as a "Free" public, bottled up it becomes rather explosive.

When police are increasingly violent I have more concerns about them receiving this type of equipment. They surely don't need an MRAP for stopping people speeding on the freeway, so why have this type of gear?

Since this is not a new phenomenon (militarizing police that is) I have done a bit of homework. The first reason for them to gear up this way is that DHS is selling us back equipment that the military purchased for Iraq and Afghanistan. It's a boost to the MIC, and a nice way to double tax us for the same equipment. Yes, DHS sells them for less money but still are selling them to local police. The next reason is obviously a Rambo effect, where cops think they are "cool" in this type of gear. Lastly, and more of a concern than the two previous is that a majority of police training today is geared toward attacking the public. There have been ample leaks from DHS training materials showing this to be true. Military and Law Enforcement agencies are using material claiming that "Patriots" and "Tea Party" type groups are potential terrorists.

There are many good links to find in this page here [theblaze.com] , pay special attention to the retired Marine Colonel in the 2nd video. Enjoy.

Re:War of government against people? (5, Insightful)

dala1 (1842368) | about 5 months ago | (#47199489)

A negative correlation does not disprove causation any more than a positive one proves it. To see why, consider a simpler example: Town A has 5 police per thousand people, and 3 crimes reported per thousand people every day. The next year, they increase the number of police to 7 per thousand people, but crime rates go up to 5 crimes reported per day.

Despite the negative correlation, this doesn't disprove the idea that having a greater police presence reduces crime. It could be that poverty rates went up due to recession, resulting in more crime and prompting politicians to increase police funding. It could be that the police are corrupt or inept, or that legislation changed such that committing crime is more profitable or less risky. There could be any number of explanations for that data that don't require causation.

Re:War of government against people? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199529)

In fact, some recent studies have concluded that it was news media coverage, and not guns, which led to copy-cat "mass" shootings on college and other school campuses.

Nobody ever said guns lead to mass shootings, they are the means. You dont need fully automatic assault weapons, you just want them in fact no mass shooting has every been prevented by a private citizen who was coincidentally carrying an assault weapon and happened upon a mass shooter. Yes the NRA likes this fantasy and idiots buy into it to justify feeling like a big man carrying a big gun! And everybody likes to feel that if they had a big gun then they could stop anybody else that had a big gun.

More to the point is the ignorance of the part of the constitution regarding the "well regulated militia", but you dont want regulation and there is no well regulated militia at all. Same old braindead hicks only want to obey the bits of the constitution they like. And with the corruption of Congress and the overreach of the NSA why do these people still do nothing about it? The whole point is to have the ability to overthrow an oppressive government and it is pretty damn oppressive right now.

Which leads to another retarded issue with the 2nd amendment: You're a complete fucking idiot if you think your well regulated militia (which you ignore anyway) armed with assault weapons is any match for the government's military-spec hardware. Just another stupid attempt to justify your want for guns, saying you need them in case you have to take on the military is just another example of the inbred idiocy of some of the US population.

Re:War of government against people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199421)

Violent crimes plunged almost every time a major console gaming system was released and more people than ever are being killed by police with fewer police than ever being killed. Fun times.

Re:War of government against people? (2)

overshoot (39700) | about 5 months ago | (#47199455)

might as well snap them up if the price is good.

And as Joe Arpaio has so beautifully demonstrated, once you've bought a toy like that, you have to find a use for it. Even if it's busting into a chicken coop with a light tank.

Re:War of government against people? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199127)

When you're fighting violent uneducated animals you need this equipment. This documentary covers the problem fairly well: http://www.youtube.com/v/z5MGJ87hPGw

Re:War of government against people? (5, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#47199143)

OR

The Police are the civil servant equivalent of the 40ish divorced guy driving a Corvette.

Big weapons? Tim Taylor grunt...we have big weapons.

Re:War of government against people? (4, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 5 months ago | (#47199249)

OR

The Police are the civil servant equivalent of the 40ish divorced guy driving a Corvette.

Big weapons? Tim Taylor grunt...we have big weapons.

Pretty much this. Their thought process is "so, what cool shit can we spend taxpayer money on that we couldn't normally get?". Now, I have no problem with a large or metropolitan police force buying a few surplus M-4s (even though, as police, they have access to better, new weapons for the same price), comm gear, or load-bearing harnesses to equip their SWAT team. But the average beat cop on traffic duty doesn't need a surplus M-4 sitting in his trunk. And they don't need a mine resistant vehicle. And if a major police force doesn't need one, a county sheriff certainly doesn't. I don't think you need an MRAP to do a raid on a methlab, or operate speed traps on that road where you randomly drop the speed limit 20mph so you can get ticket revenue to pay for your toys. If you are really concerned about officer safety in SWAT situations then buy one of these [texasarmoring.com] .

I remember once, about 3 years ago, I was officiating a high school football game on theoutskirts of a major metro area. On the sidelines were a couple local sheriff deputies watching the game and (I am assuming) working security for the game. One of them had to be a good 280lbs (and not muscle) loaded out in a tactical vest and harness, gloves, and sunglasses. He just wanted to look bad-ass (but looked like an idiot).

Re:War of government against people? (1)

pkinetics (549289) | about 5 months ago | (#47199447)

And there in lies one of the many problems law enforcement officers should be complaining about.

Rather than spend the money on training and useful long term goals, they spend it on something that has little long term value.

Let's buy a white elephant!

Re:War of government against people? (1)

pkinetics (549289) | about 5 months ago | (#47199485)

Holy buckets. They got a whopping 2 hours of training on the damn thing?!?!

Someone just secured a long term service support / maintenance contract on that beast.

Re:War of government against people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199465)

Exactly. I live in a small isolated town. Population about 25,000. Next population center as big or bigger than us - about 75 miles. The incorporated area of our city is about 3x5 miles with a little bit of acreage properties out beyond that. 5 minutes outside of town and you are going to be driving for at least an hour before you pass anywhere with a population over 100. Our city has a mobile command post.... No place in the city is more than 3 miles from the police station/city hall, but we have a fancy RV with "mobile command post" stenciled on the side.

Re:War of government against people? (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 months ago | (#47199323)

OR

The Police are the civil servant equivalent of the 40ish divorced guy driving a Corvette.

Happy?

Re:War of government against people? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#47199387)

Temporarily, if the shotgun seat is filled with sweet young ass.

Re:War of government against people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199227)

It aint all there fault man, continous downsizing Tweaked processes and over synerization of america and the constant bullsh1t that everyone is expected to be a shining star employ, has left ALOT of people in a really hard way. 20 + years of the crackhead phone network running unchecked, all thats left is to find someone to blame.

Re:War of government against people? (2)

Sir Holo (531007) | about 5 months ago | (#47199383)

If law enforcement needs this type of equipment, then it has long abandoned any pretense of serving the people and has instead reverted to its original purpose of fighting the people for those in power.

Indeed. "To protect and to serve..." has been perverted into "To protect (ourselves) and to serve (those in power)..."

Re:War of government against people? (4, Insightful)

fche (36607) | about 5 months ago | (#47199451)

Not just that. A key quote from TFA: "My job is to make sure my employees go home safe." Police leadership whose priority is on their own safety is more likely to view the populace as a problem instead of as the recipient of service. They are more likely to do no-knock night-time raids ... because if it saves just one [police] life, sure it's worth burning that baby with a flash-bang.

Re:War of government against people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199461)

If law enforcement needs this type of equipment, then it has long abandoned any pretense of serving the people and has instead reverted to its original purpose of fighting the people for those in power.

Read the article. It's for SWAT teams not every day police. These are needed to stop the occasional crazies who shoot up places, not a conspiracy by the man to persecute slashdotters.

What about escalation? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199085)

... We start carrying semi-automatics, they buy automatics. We start wearing Kevlar they buy armor-piercing rounds.

Re:What about escalation? (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#47199115)

Hey, escalation is good for the economy. Firearms factory jobs FTW!

Re:What about escalation? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 5 months ago | (#47199179)

Yep, election Obama to the Presidency was the best thing ever for the firearms industry.

Re:What about escalation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199491)

If you can't even use correct grammar in such a short sentence then you probably shouldn't be making light of such advanced concepts.

Re:What about escalation? (4, Insightful)

olsmeister (1488789) | about 5 months ago | (#47199119)

"Wanna get Capone? Here's how you get him. He pulls a knife, you pull a gun, he sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone."

Re:What about escalation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199223)

Wait a sec. Obama does know Capone is already dead. Right?

Yuck. (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 5 months ago | (#47199087)

Even with Ad-Block, that link [indystar.com] is gross.

Slashdot groupthink hates the militarization of our police. Sheriff Gayer (seriously?) isn't going to help that cause.

SWAT teams are a reality. Buying them a surplus MRAP isn't shocking.

Sheriff Gayer making stupid comments, however, won't help anything...

Re:Yuck. (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 5 months ago | (#47199257)

Sheriff Gayer?

Well, fuck, that explains it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Re:Yuck. (4, Funny)

shikaisi (1816846) | about 5 months ago | (#47199329)

Sheriff Gayer?

Well, fuck, that explains it!

The other sheriff quoted in the article is Sheriff Cox. With names like those, they probably need heavy weaponry to suppress the local mockery.

Face recognition, Armored vehicles, Phone spies (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199095)

The United States of America is a war zone, the government is at war with its citizens.

Re:Face recognition, Armored vehicles, Phone spies (2)

reboot246 (623534) | about 5 months ago | (#47199229)

And that is why they're so desperate to take our weapons. Disarm the citizens and the rest is easy.

Oh, and it's not all semiautomatic hunting rifles like AR-15s. There are a LOT of .45 submachine guns floating around this country, plus other heavy weapons like Browning Automatic Rifles (BAR). You would truly be surprised what Americans are hiding.

Re:Face recognition, Armored vehicles, Phone spies (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 5 months ago | (#47199441)

Browning still makes BARs actually. But they look a little different [browning.com] than they used to

Absolutely disgusting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199099)

Rampant multiculturalism tends to lead to degenerate warzones. Enjoy your cultural enrichment!

Re:Absolutely disgusting (4, Funny)

Bradmont (513167) | about 5 months ago | (#47199193)

This is why I constantly fear for my life and don't ever go out after dark in the multicultural hell hole of violence and degeneracy that is Canada.

Re:Absolutely disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199219)

Come down to Jane and Finch for your daily cultural enrichment goy.

Re: Absolutely disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199307)

So I noticed you're stuck 20 years in the past. My time machine is unfortunately in the shop at the moment or I'd help you out.

Re: Absolutely disgusting (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199411)

Progressives should move to Africa to experience their multicultural utopia.

Re:Absolutely disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199259)

Canada isn't really a great example. All the good areas are overwhelmingly white and/or Asian and most other minorities are relegated to crime infested ghettos in a few major cities.

Re:Absolutely disgusting (1, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 months ago | (#47199335)

This is why I constantly fear for my life and don't ever go out after dark in the multicultural hell hole of violence and degeneracy that is Canada.

You must live in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, London, or Saskatoon then. They're all at varying points of degeneracy and violence, some of them are almost to detroit levels from the 90's. An example: Saskatoon(pop ~260k) has a murder rate than NYC(pop ~8.4m).

$5k (5, Insightful)

reanjr (588767) | about 5 months ago | (#47199109)

For five grand, I'd be tempted to buy one, too.

Re:$5k (5, Insightful)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | about 5 months ago | (#47199361)

This. The sheriff said he'd rather have a more police-oriented armored vehicle for his SWAT team, but they cost $300,000, and this only cost $5,000. It's bigger, slower, and uses more gas, but it's cheaper overall. He's working within a budget and it's budget-effective.

The rest is window dressing and statements to appease the press.

Re:$5k (4, Funny)

mythosaz (572040) | about 5 months ago | (#47199385)

Are they still for sale?

I've got a teenager who needs a car he can't wreck :)

Re:$5k (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 5 months ago | (#47199409)

You would think that just the scrap value would be more than $5g. Hell I got $200 for my lawn tractor.

What we need are more guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199117)

Everyone needs guns. We can have the old west again. People shooting the "bad guys" left and right. Don't try to make society better by helping those that need it. Just arm everyone.

Re:What we need are more guns (2)

Mike_Theory (2190120) | about 5 months ago | (#47199487)

Murder rates in the old west were far lower than most major cities today

SHeriff Michael Gayer (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#47199137)

needs to go to a war zone for a few months.

Violence has been trending down for decades. This dumb ass just get a hard on with driving around in the military vehicle.

Plus he is in Johnson county doing Sheriff duties. Not anything close to a war zone. Using a few stories from the news to claim America is a war zone is so fucking stupid this guy should be fired. Clearly he can not do basic statistics within his field. Someone anyone making purchasing decision should be able to do.
Tell me what crime you deal with the requires this?
http://www.jocosheriff.org/ind... [jocosheriff.org]

AND it's going to be more expensive to maintain, and the police should never use military anything, ever. They are NOT the military. Too many people are loosing touch with what the difference is.

Re:SHeriff Michael Gayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199171)

Violence in predominantly white and Asian areas is trending way down but in black areas violence and crime is trending up at an alarming rate.

Re:SHeriff Michael Gayer (0)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 5 months ago | (#47199285)

AND it's going to be more expensive to maintain, and the police should never use military anything, ever. They are NOT the military.

Why SHOULDN'T civilian organizations make use of military surplus when it is available? It saves them money and makes use of existing stuff instead of having to build new. So what if they aren't the military? I've got a couple of old field jackets, should I not use them because I'm not the military, even though they are good, rugged, serviceable pieces of clothing.

Perhaps you aren't aware that GPS was created and is operated by the military? The last time I looked, the US Air Force is "military". Should police not be allowed to use GPS technology for anything? Should YOU not be allowed to use GPS for anything because YOU aren't military, either?

It's not the source of the stuff that an organization uses that carries posse comitatis limitations, it's who it is used by. And tools are tools, whether the military first bought them or someone else did. Especially vehicles.

Too many people are loosing touch with what the difference is.

I'd say so.

So what if a Sheriff in a backwoods county says something you think is stupid to his constituency? They voted for him, you didn't. Unless you go do something stupid in his county, you'll never run across him, and by exercising his freedom of speech you know you shouldn't go there. Better you know than you find out by surprise, huh?

Re:SHeriff Michael Gayer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199349)

Are you retarded?

Re:SHeriff Michael Gayer (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 5 months ago | (#47199373)

AND it's going to be more expensive to maintain, and the police should never use military anything, ever. They are NOT the military.

Why SHOULDN'T civilian organizations make use of military surplus when it is available? It saves them money and makes use of existing stuff instead of having to build new. So what if they aren't the military? I've got a couple of old field jackets, should I not use them because I'm not the military, even though they are good, rugged, serviceable pieces of clothing.

There is a bit of a difference between a bush jacket and an anti-mine vehicle. Him buying a surplus MRAP would be like you buying a surplus spacesuit from NASA. Sure, it might keep you warm and dry, but it's a lot more complicated and inefficient to use than an actual jacket and makes you look like an idiot going down the street.

Re:SHeriff Michael Gayer (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199397)

>>Why SHOULDN'T civilian organizations make use of military surplus when it is available? It saves them money and makes use of existing stuff instead of having to >>build new. So what if they aren't the military? I've got a couple of old field jackets, should I not use them because I'm not the military, even though they are good, >>>rugged, serviceable pieces of clothing.

Well hell, why do we even need a civilian police force? Why not just use military personal to police the civilian population? It would save money by using existing personel that are no longer needed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Re:SHeriff Michael Gayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199501)

Well hell, why do we even need a civilian police force? Why not just use military personal to police the civilian population? It would save money by using existing personel that are no longer needed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

We have this thing called "Posse Comitatus," or at least we used to.

Do you really want to risk a coup d'etat in the US when the police forces align behind a five-star general who opposes the POTUS?

Re:SHeriff Michael Gayer (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 5 months ago | (#47199457)

DHS does not give this gear to local police departments, so your claim of "cheap" is absolutely false. Sure, they are not paying "New" gear prices but they are not getting "New" gear.

Better title (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 5 months ago | (#47199145)

"America Has Become a War Zone, According to This One Guy"

Ob (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 months ago | (#47199159)

Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer told the Indy Star: "The United States of America has become a war zone."'

And then when he thought the mic was off he added "...and if it isn't, we'll soon make it one!"

News for Nerds? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199163)

And what part of this story is technology related for nerds? All I see is a bunch of blundering twits spouting shit about buying military vehicles for dirt cheap.

You'll have to forgive Sheiff Gayer (5, Informative)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 5 months ago | (#47199175)

You'll have to forgive Sheriff Gayer, after all it must feel like a warzone when you spend all you're available time and money engaged in the war on drugs because it's so damn profitable for the cops.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/... [pbs.org]

Nineteen eighty-four was the year that Congress rewrote the civil forfeiture law to funnel drug money and "drug related" assets into the police agencies that seize them. This amendment offered law enforcement a new source of income, limited only by the energy police and prosecutors were willing to put into seizing assets. The number of forfeitures mushroomed: Between 1985 and 1991 the Justice Department collected more than $1.5 billion in illegal assets; in the next five years, it almost doubled this intake. By 1987 the Drug Enforcement Administration was more than earning its keep, with over $500 million worth of seizures exceeding its budget.

The numbers are only worse now. States like Minesota that are average size take in around 8 million dollars and almost every penny of that money is given right back to the cops.

It's a BS excuse (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199177)

That is the lamest excuse I think I've ever heard. Why not just admit the truth? Homeland paranoid security is militarizing local police departments for civilian pacification when martial law is declared.

Moderator Points (1)

The Raven (30575) | about 5 months ago | (#47199183)

I'd like to moderate the story as flamebait.

Junk (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199185)

Most of the MRAPs are junk. The only thing they're really good at is absorbing a blast coming from under the vehicle. They're unstable and they guzzle fuel because of their weight and lack of aerodynamics. The citizens should be more concerned about how much of the municipal budget is going into fueling these pieces of shit.

Re:Junk (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#47199477)

re "The only thing they're really good at is absorbing a blast coming from under the vehicle."
That was the origin for much of the tech. South Africa had to keep its troops moving down roads that where unsafe.
South African Border War: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]
All that decades of tech is been repackaged and sold to the US gov for its own distant small wars. The crew survives but the long term health costs add up as some of the energy of the event does shake the human body.
What is left after the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan is been gifted to US cities, states as great "free" tech for any municipal.
Just as the US mil budget had to pay for the construction and running costs so will the local cities, states have to pick up the costs for the mil grade bespoke parts and needed upgrades.
Across America, Police Departments Are Quietly Preparing For War (06/09/2014)
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/... [zerohedge.com]
Yes the "municipal budget" is going to have to stretch far for the parts, skilled staff and new costs ..... thats cash that will have to come from roads, schools, libraries, much needed infrastructure maintenance.
The other option to have enough local raids to self fund with confiscated property auctions. If the paper work is done just right it might bring in extra federal funding per raid too :)

violent crime has plunged (5, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 5 months ago | (#47199197)

"There's violence in the workplace, there's violence in schools and there's violence in the streets. You are seeing police departments going to a semi-military format because of the threats we have to counteract. If driving a military vehicle is going to protect officers, then that's what I'm going to do."

Uh, yeah, except violent (and property) crime has fallen to levels we haven't seen in 50 years (police-involved shootings, however, have gone up - in part, I'm sure, because of all the war vets getting preferential hiring in police jobs.)

This reminds me of the firefighters in our city. Fires have become extremely rare, thanks to better standards/code for electrics, building, appliances, etc...as well as education, etc.

Instead of laying off firefighters, they started sending them out to respond to medical calls. So we have giant ladder trucks responding to grandma saying her chest hurts, instead of spending that operating expenditure on ambulances that can respond quicker, or, say, pivoting the "fleet" towards much smaller, faster SUVs that carry high-tech equipment. Everyone thinks they're still really busy fighting fires. Win-win, except for citizens, screwed by both unnecessary expenditure and ineffective utilization of budget...

Re:violent crime has plunged (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 5 months ago | (#47199235)

I was born in the 60's, and Fire has responded to medical calls for my entire adult life.

Re:violent crime has plunged (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 5 months ago | (#47199251)

"I was born in the 60's, and Fire has responded to medical calls for my entire adult life."

Not in my city, they didn't.

I would have thought by your age you would have figured out that other places can be different and others have different experiences than you.

Re:violent crime has plunged (1, Funny)

mythosaz (572040) | about 5 months ago | (#47199453)

*sigh*

I forget, this is the internet, and everyone's a special snowflake.

I was providing my experience, dick. I didn't say it was true for you or anyone else.

That said, TV showed us all that Gage and DeSoto were responding to medical calls on Emergency! in 1972, which was when paramedics started to become part of fire crews around the country. By the 80's they were everywhere in the US -- except for you special snowflakes and your fire departments.

Larger cities combine fire and medical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199297)

Any city who is large enough to need a full time firefighter sitting around waiting for disaster probably has them doing EMT services as well -- if not more so since fires are less common... but the amount to staff doesn't change a whole lot; you need staff on hand even if fires do not happen and I bet they do have fewer fire calls but MORE people which means they need more EMT staff. The station I drive bye has more ambulances than fire trucks and I bet when it was rebuilt in the 80s they expanded EMT space. I am in a suburb and I wish I could get a city EMT over the local hospital one; I've not only heard stories but they only make $9 an hour... The firefighters have an actual career plus they put their lives on the line; while the people here are probably half awake coming from their 2nd job.

Re:violent crime has plunged (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199523)

Sure, lets not keep the excess fire fighting capacity in case there is a big earthquake and a bunch of gas lines and water mains break. We totally don't need to handle that because its not currently happening.

Same problem applies to medical, except we are already screwed there since its privatized. There is no reason for hospitals to keep enough capacity to handle really bad situations (massive disasters like earth quakes, plagues etc). Its just not profitable.

America HAS become a War Zone (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199199)

Does anyone pay attention to the news anymore? Just yesterday a couple shot two cops who were peacefully siting down eating their lunch. They planned to attack the courthouse and start executing officials too. Just like that guy in Georgia the other week who was thankfully stopped before he could start. And there's a massacre about once every other month. Why do we need all these assault weapons? Lock up the guns and then we won't be living in a war zone anymore. America let's stop this madness like the UK and Australia did. Until then I don't blame the cops for wanting to drive around in MRAPs.

Re:America HAS become a War Zone (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 5 months ago | (#47199301)

Does anyone pay attention to the news anymore? Just yesterday a couple shot two cops who were peacefully siting down eating their lunch. They planned to attack the courthouse and start executing officials too. Just like that guy in Georgia the other week who was thankfully stopped before he could start. And there's a massacre about once every other month. Why do we need all these assault weapons?.

The shooters in Las Vegas used pistols. The guy here in Georgia planned to use homemade explosives once inside the building. The shooter in Seattle used a shotgun (horrible choice for a shooting rampage by the way unless you are using a Saiga shotgun-takes too long to reload). Most shootings in the US are committed with pistols, yet the majority of gun control advocates fixate on "assault weapons" (just because something is black and has a pistol grip does not make it more dangerous) because they are scary. Under "assault weapons" bans an SKS (a 5-shot semiautomatic Russian rifle with attached folding bayonet) would be perfectly legal, but the same rifle with a black TAPCO stock would be illegal. What we need are harsher penalties for felons possessing firearms/possesion of stolen firearms (a significant number of shootings in the US involve one of those 2 offenses) and better mental health treatment.

Well I guess they're right... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 months ago | (#47199239)

After all the US federal government is no longer enforcing the law for all, but selectively enforcing it. And punishing their enemies by dumping illegals on them. With various letter agencies going after people for being in their legal right.

And nobody like his local mayor called him on it (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 5 months ago | (#47199273)

Cops are in the business to be cops, not too picky about whose will they enforce, so long as they're enforcing someone's will on someone.

This guy needs disciplining and should possibly be fired.

That won't happen, because safety, and the children, and we can't let the terrorists win. And this is how democracy dies; with thunderous applause.

Fortunately, I'll be dead in 40 years and this is all your problem, Millenials.

Battlefield Hardline (1)

HRbnjR (12398) | about 5 months ago | (#47199311)

Hah, this'll teach everyone knocking today's Battlefield Hardline announcement from E3 because police stations supposedly don't have military style equipment like that shown in the game!

Paramilitary Police Forces (1)

Onuma (947856) | about 5 months ago | (#47199319)

The militarization of police forces around America is an astounding thing to watch.

Since when has it been OK to conduct a no-knock raid on white-collar crime suspects? Or to use pyrotechnics and concussion devices in homes where there are multiple children living in a home with tight quarters?

There was a time where police officers used ingenuity, charm, and patience to disarm situations. This is an actual quote from my friend:

Another Trooper and I took an enforcer for the Vice Lords with a murder warrant in his house, invited in, on a Sunday morning with nothing but a bullshit lie about a another gangster in a fake car wreck.

I wonder how well that would have gone with an MRAP, instead?

Gunowners' litmus test (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199331)

Do you own a gun? Are you a policeman?

If you answered 'yes' to question one and 'no' to question two, you are a coward. You are garbage.

And whose fault is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199337)

America is becoming a war zone because the cops are hellbent on making it that way.

People who think revolution in America would be citizens versus military have it wrong. It's the damn cops that you'll all be fighting - it's just that they look more like military every day.

They bring knives, we bring guns (1)

pla (258480) | about 5 months ago | (#47199339)

Aww man, now I need to upgrade my driveway's "vehicular denial" minefield to armor piercing? C'mon guys, that shit costs real money! Couldn't we stop the arms race at flechette mines?

Hey, if we live in a warzone, I have the right to protect myself. Hope none of you unarmored piggies try a no-knock...

No need - Too much money. (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 5 months ago | (#47199347)

They don't need all these toys.
They simply have too much money.
They get grants from the feds and have to spend it.
I watched this happen in a local tiny town who got their own drone. No need. Just a grant from Homeland Insecurity.

Re:No need - Too much money. (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 5 months ago | (#47199375)

I agree. My local mall now has license plate scanners on all of it's entrances courtesy of DHS.

Some of this stuff is cheap war surplus that probably the small police departments will find impossible to maintain, like MRAPs. But the surveillance stuff is really annoying.

Peelian principles of policing: look elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199363)

For those interested in the other end of the spectrum on the theories of policing, I feel a good start is the Peelian Principles. [wikipedia.org]

There are other ways to police besides the slippery slope to another Star Chamber [wikipedia.org] .

How Many (3, Insightful)

overshoot (39700) | about 5 months ago | (#47199371)

police (deputies, etc.) over the past five years have been attacked with IEDs?

Alternately, how would something like this have helped the cops in Las Vegas this weekend?

Re:How Many (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 5 months ago | (#47199415)

Alternately, how would something like this have helped the cops in Las Vegas this weekend?

They could put a pizza oven in the back instead of having to go to pizza shops. They could even offset the purchase cost of the MRAP and the pizza oven by using it as a food truck when not on duty.

Good news - combat pay! (3, Funny)

sk999 (846068) | about 5 months ago | (#47199395)

How much extra per month do I get?

Just read their stats - nothing that needed this (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 5 months ago | (#47199401)

Just read the statistics for the sheriffs department involved. [jocosheriff.org] 133 "crimes against persons" so far this year. But that includes a lot of bad checks, which they list as a crime against a person. It also includes telephone harassment, and "criminal threats". Some assaults, some rapes. No murders. About 63 drug offenses, mostly from traffic stops. Nothing for which an armored vehicle would be useful. It looks like a cop shop that has some real business maybe a few times a day.

They don't need an MRAP. They need a collection agency for the bad checks and a social worker for the domestic disturbances.

Re:Just read their stats - nothing that needed thi (1)

pkinetics (549289) | about 5 months ago | (#47199533)

How dare you use facts to refute outrageous exaggerations!

easy - defund the police departments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199419)

just shut them down entirely. the people can arm themselves and protect themselves. sure beats hiding under a mattress or hiding in the closet waiting for somebody to come save you.

Please take the guns from these people (2)

amightywind (691887) | about 5 months ago | (#47199433)

If you saw the comical hunt for the Boston Marathon Bombers last year you would have seen 1000's of fat, pink, Irish 'first responders', all with generous pensions, Massachusetts finest, chase Tsarnaev in full riot gear. All the while the disarmed rabbit citizen population cowered inside their homes. The rent-a-cops still let their quarry outside the perimeter, then, when they had him cornered in a boat, they shot it with 1000's of rounds and somehow missed the target! Will someone please take the guns from these people

War as Blowback (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199439)

Just like the Freikorps that were a byproduct of WW1, our police state is blowback from our wars. Think of that the next time They want to bomb $country.

Another Fox News infectee (1)

Baussian (3687951) | about 5 months ago | (#47199479)

Sounds like another case of the "Fox News" virus.

55,000 lb vehicles anywhere these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47199495)

Pulaski County, home to 13,124 people, is one of the counties that have purchased an 55,000 pound, six-wheeled patrol vehicles, from military surplus.

They better hope it doesn't fall into one of the many sinkholes in Pulaski Co [slashdot.org]

War on terrorism (4, Insightful)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 5 months ago | (#47199513)

This is the war on terrorism logic. Even the cops are afraid and see military grade enemies everywhere now.

In related news ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 5 months ago | (#47199515)

... criminals more frequently make getaway through parking garages.

Ft. Lauderdale's Tank (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 5 months ago | (#47199531)

In 1962 the City of Ft. Lauderdale purchased a riot tank due to the overwhelming fear of college students on spring break. I am now 90 miles north of Ft. Lauderdale and my tiny town has a tank designed to drive through the walls of homes on sudden, forced entries. It is a response to the odd drug dealer who wants to go down in a hail of bullets. No walls to hide behind with these tanks I suppose.
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