01 March, 2010

Paramilitarization of Local Law Enforcement

(courtesy of Dreamer, OCDO)

The militarization of our civilian police is perhaps one of the most clear and present threats to personal civil liberties in our society today.

There has been an "us vs them" attitude growing in Law Enforcement in the US since the early 1950s, and it has reached the point where today, the majority of LEAs have it as policy that officers operate under this adversarial mindset as a matter of course.

Military-style weapons, vehicles, training, uniforms, and even psyops (through Public relations campaigns) have all fed this fire. The naming of Federal law enforcement initiatives (the "War on Drugs", the "War on Poverty", the "War on Terror") with "martial" titles has further fed into this adversarial mindset.

Law enforcement agencies are NOT military units. They are in existence to ENFORCE the law, NOT as a strong-arm tool for the government to force policy upon the people.

Federal funding has a lot to do with this. The programs of federal grants, the Federal Asset Forfeiture program, and other policies of institutionalized robbery, fraud and graft have lined the pocked of LEAs that SHOULD be operating on a locally-funded shoestring budget. Unless these methods of federal bribery are removed from local LE, they will remain a tremendous influence on the attitudes and procedures of LEAs on the local level. Many of these adversarial attitudes come from the "top", as DOD, FBI, and DEA agents are often used to train local police in "special tactics" or with "new technology".

It's a difficult situation to address. Federal influence has turned local law enforcement from a "protect and serve" mentality to a "dominate and subjugate" mentality. And that Federal influence brings with it a LOT of money. Few Local LEAs are willing to say "no" to the Federal offers of increased militarization because it would also mean saying "no" to millions of dollars in funding and equipment.

Until we, as citizens, change this attitude in our state and local governments, and in our state and local police forces, this adversarial attitude in LEAs will grow and fester until they are essentially a thuggish standing army.

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