A Marine Corp Colonel spoke out at a August 12, 2013 Concord, NH council meeting after the Concord Police Department requested armored vehicles. This video needs to be shared far and wide. The militarization of our local police departments is something we should all be concerned with:
More from the Huffington Post on the militarization of police:
Today in America, SWAT teams are deployed about 100 to 150 times per day, or about 50,000 times per year -- a dramatic increase from the 3,000 or so annual deployments in the early 1980s, or the few hundred in the 1970s. The vast majority of today's deployments are to serve search warrants for drug crimes. But the use of SWAT tactics to enforce regulatory law also appears to be rising. This month, for example, a SWAT team raided the Garden of Eden, a sustainable growth farm in Arlington, Texas, supposedly to look for marijuana. The police found no pot, however, and the real intent of the raid appears to have been for code enforcement, as the officers came armed with an inspection notice for nuisance abatement.
Where these teams were once used only in emergency situations, they're used today mostly as an investigative tool against people merely suspected of crimes. In many police agencies, paramilitary tactics have become the first option, where they once were the last.
“It’s really about a lack of imagination and a lack of creativity,” says Norm Stamper, a retired cop who served as police chief of Seattle from 1994 to 2000. “When your answer to every problem is more force, it shows that you haven’t been taught and trained to consider other options."
Old Russian Army proverb: "When your only tool is a hammer, treat everything like a nail". We do not need, nor should we tolerate, jackbooted thugs with the power of the state, i.e. they can kill you legally, roaming our streets disguised as Officer Friendly.
We need to get rid of the Patriot Act and prevent the Department of Homeland (I hate that word) Security from funding this crap.
We have a new Chief Of Police in my town who says he learned a lot about police work while serving in Iraq. I haven't met him, but I did tell one of our Barney Fifes to remind him that our little mountain town ain't Fallujah.