23
Feb 15

Bye-Bye Police Tanks? Law-Makers Propose Anti-Police-Militarization Bill | The Free Thought Project

Helena, Mon. – A bill introduced in Montana, HB 330, which would attempt to reign in the growing militarization of law enforcement is making its way through the House.

The legislation, introduced by Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer, would put limit on the type of military equipment that could be transferred to state and local police under the federal 1033 program. In addition, the bill will audit the current inventory and require a strict regiment.

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/montana-takes-aim-growing-police-state-anti-militarization-bill/

14
Oct 13

How Cops Became Soldiers: An Interview with Police Militarization Expert Radley Balko | Motherboard

In 2007, journalist Radley Balko told a House subcommittee that one criminologist detected a 1,500% increase in the use of SWAT teams over the last two decades. That's reflective of a larger trend, fueled by the wars on drugs and terror, of police forces becoming heavily militarized.Balko, an investigative reporter for the Huffington Post and author of the definitive report on paramilitary policing in the United States, has a forthcoming book on the topic, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces. He was kind enough to answer some questions about how our police turned into soldiers as well as the challenges of large-scale reform.Motherboard: When did the shift towards militarized police forces begin in America? Is it as simple as saying it began with the War on Drugs or can we detect gradual signs of change when we look back at previous policies?There's certainly a lot of overlap between the war on drugs and police militarization. But if we go back to the late 1960s and early 1970s, there were two trends developing simultaneously. The first was the development and spread of SWAT teams. Darryl Gates started the first SWAT team in L.A. in 1969. By 1975, there were 500 of them across the country. They were largely a reaction to riots, violent protest groups like the Black Panthers and Symbionese Liberation Army, and a couple mass shooting incidents, like the Texas clock tower massacre in 1966.

via How Cops Became Soldiers: An Interview with Police Militarization Expert Radley Balko | Motherboard.

4
Oct 13

Idaho Police Join Growing Number Of Departments With Military Vehicles

Canyon County, Ada County, Post Falls and Preston are among the departments now equipped with bulletproof, Mine Resistance Ambush Protected Personnel Carrier (MRAP) vehicles, normally seen on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Potentially there are a lot of uses for this vehicle from deflecting an explosive device to containing or approaching an armed subject without use of greater force. We’re working with Boise Fire and other emergency response agencies throughout the Boise area to see what value this vehicle can bring to public safety. We very much appreciate the federal government for providing this vehicle to our city,” Boise Deputy Chief William Bones said

via Idaho Police Join Growing Number Of Departments With Military Vehicles.

30
Sep 13

Dallas County Police to execute warrants in 15-ton-vehicle capable of withstanding ‘nuclear environment’ | The Raw Story

Earlier this month, Dallas County sheriff’s deputies drove to Fort Hood to pick up their department’s new purchase: a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected MRAP armored personnel carrier.The particular MRAP purchased by the Dallas County sheriff’s office has never been deployed in an actual combat zone, but in a memo deputies claimed that it “exceeded expectations.”The MRAP “appears to be in good shape” and “runs good,” and is “[b]est described as a Dump Truck with a personnel carrier body.” It will be used, according to the memo, to “provide warrants execution” and assist in “provid[ing] an overall safety arch.”The Dallas County deputies didn’t indicate in the memo why their department required a vehicle designed to withstand “ballistic arms fire, mine fields, IED’s, and Nuclear, Biological and Chemical environments” in order to execute warrants.

via Dallas County Police to execute warrants in 15-ton-vehicle capable of withstanding ‘nuclear environment’ | The Raw Story.

8
Mar 13

Cities Continue To Get ‘Tanks’ They Don’t Need In Nationwide Police Militarization Trend | Sagacious News Network

Last month I reported on how Georgia law enforcement agencies have acquired a massive arsenal of military-grade vehicles and weapons through the Department of Defense. Unfortunately, it’s far from isolated.

via Cities Continue To Get ‘Tanks’ They Don’t Need In Nationwide Police Militarization Trend | Sagacious News Network.

6
Mar 13

ACLU Launches Nationwide Police Militarization Investigation

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a nationwide campaign to assess police militarization in the United States. Starting Wednesday, ACLU affiliates in 23 states are sending open records requests to hundreds of state and local police agencies requesting information about their SWAT teams, such as how often and for what reasons they're deployed, what types of weapons they use, how often citizens are injured during SWAT raids, and how they're funded. More affiliates may join the effort in the coming weeks.

via ACLU Launches Nationwide Police Militarization Investigation.

5
Mar 13

Milwaukee Police Purchase Massive Tank To Patrol Streets - :

This is something you see in a monster truck show,a third world country or the old rural Michigan wastelands I grew up in as a kid. But seriously what is this used for? Besides intimidation, the upcoming food riots or the arrest of bloggers like myself, I can’t really pin point many uses. It’s not economical to chase speeders and write tickets in a tank, and I’m sure it’s not fiscally responsible to spend that kind of money on a tank when most States, Cities and County’s are broke.

via Milwaukee Police Purchase Massive Tank To Patrol Streets - :.

4
Mar 13

Obama DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks to Go With Their 1.6 Billion Bullet Stockpile | The Gateway Pundit

This is getting a little creepy.

According to one estimate, since last year the Department of Homeland Security has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion bullets, mainly .40 caliber and 9mm.

DHS also purchased 2,700 Mine Resistant Armor Protected Vehicles (MRAP).

via Obama DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks to Go With Their 1.6 Billion Bullet Stockpile | The Gateway Pundit.

2
Jul 12

Prison Planet.com » DHS Gives UC-Berkeley ‘Armored Personnel Carrier’

“The eight-ton vehicle, commonly referred to as a “Bearcat,” is used by U.S. troops on the battlefield and is often equipped with a rotating roof hatch, powered turrets, gun ports, a battering ram, and a weapon system used to remotely engage a target with lethal force,” writes Campus Reform’s Josiah Ryan.

UCPD spokesman Lt. Eric Tejada justified the purchase by pointing to an event last year when a man was reported to be carrying an AK-47 assault rifle on campus, despite the fact that the incident turned out to be a false alarm.

via Prison Planet.com » DHS Gives UC-Berkeley ‘Armored Personnel Carrier’.

11
Mar 12

BATTLEFIELD MAIN STREET - WWW.THEDAILY.COM

In today’s Mayberry, Andy Griffith and Barney Fife could be using grenade launchers and a tank to keep the peace. A rapidly expanding Pentagon program that distributes used military equipment to local police departments — many of them small-town forces — puts battlefield-grade weaponry in the hands of cops at an unprecedented rate.

Through its little-known “1033 program,” the Department of Defense gave away nearly $500 million worth of leftover military gear to law enforcement in fiscal year 2011 — a new record for the program and a dramatic rise over past years’ totals, including the $212 million in equipment distributed in 2010.

The surplus equipment includes grenade launchers, helicopters, military robots, M-16 assault rifles and armored vehicles.

via BATTLEFIELD MAIN STREET - WWW.THEDAILY.COM.

22
Feb 12

Ventura, CA Police using armored vehicles in the streets | USWGO Alternative News

Something you usually may only see in Baghdad or Iraq, militarized or tactical armored and weaponized vehicles during riots and wars, has now appeared in Downtown Ventura California. This does go along with the militarization of police across the country. The police don’t trust the American people anymore when they use armored vehicles with weapon firing ports in addition to their usual police cruisers.

via Ventura, CA Police using armored vehicles in the streets | USWGO Alternative News.

22
Feb 12

SWAT Team in Washington acquires heavily armored vehicle | Homeland Security News Wire

The Tri-City Regional SWAT Team in Tacoma, Washington recently received a major boost to its arsenal of crime fighting tools;thanks to DHS grants, the Tri-City Regional Swat Team was able to purchase the BearCat, a $292,000 armored personnel carrier; the vehicle is heavily armored and is capable of stopping .30-caliber ammunition

via SWAT Team in Washington acquires heavily armored vehicle | Homeland Security News Wire.

22
Feb 12

Police 'Tank' Spurs Wild Speculation at Occupy Tampa Rally - Yahoo! News

FIRST PERSON | TAMPA, Fla. -- The police department's Tactical Response Team (TRP) rolled out a tank at the Occupy Tampa protest today at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown.

The purpose of the vehicle was unclear and its presence immediately sparked wide speculation among the protestors. I have to admit that when I first saw the tank, it felt ominous and an extreme measure.

via Police 'Tank' Spurs Wild Speculation at Occupy Tampa Rally - Yahoo! News.