A while back I posted a piece about the acquisition of an armored personnel carrier by the Salinas California police. Today brings news that the tiny town of Troy, Alabama (population 18,000) has also acquired a tank.
Now you may ask yourself why a town of 18,000 people needs a vehicle like this. According to the police:
“It gives us capability, if we ever have an incidence, where we have an active shooter or officers down and in need of rescue or even citizens down for that matter,” said Lt. Bryan Weed, “that we have the capability of going in and help getting them to a safe area.”
Did you catch that? The last, almost forgotten justification, is to actually help citizens. The reality is the police departments across the US are arming heavily and DHS is not only condoning it, but actually facilitating it.
Friends in law enforcement tell me the military and defense contractors have a lot of used equipment coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan and the program allows them to dump it to local police – who often pick them up for a few thousand dollars.
The US Government firmly believes that angry right wing extremists pose a greater threat than the Islamic militants that brought down the World Trade Center, attacked the US Embassy at Benghazi, and who continue to plot against the US. So it is no surprise that they would arm every branch of government.
If you’re not yet concerned about the militarization of police forces, you really aren’t paying attention.