MAYBERRY R.F.D. ON STEROIDS…the militarization of our police force

Constitution, County, General, Government, Local, sheriff / Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

In a front page news article of the Hudson paper, the Sheriff’s department reported that the department had acquired body cams. Seems like necessary equipment for the new generation, doesn’t it? Let’s face it, no one is without an electronic device of some kind on their body, whether cell phone, I pad, ear buds, etc…. Right? Seems reasonable, but, I can’t help but dwell on the progression of militarization of the police force and that this equipment acquisition, minor as it appears, seems the new norm. It is, nonetheless, an ominous sign.

How many citizens out there know that our St. Croix County Sheriff’s department, amongst many other counties, owns and uses a retired tank-like army vehicle? Assault rifles? And routinely dress in body armor to conduct what used to be treated as “normal”, “usual” business? And, we are talking about non-criminal business, such as house repossessions, serving traffic warrants, and confiscating children from suspected neglectful families. Really? Yes, really.

A little-known Pentagon program has been quietly militarizing American police forces. Tanks, grenade launchers, armored vehicles, and assault rifles are just a few of the items that have been transferred from military control to municipal police forces for years. Terrorism and police safety driving this cause. But, is it TRULY more dangerous for police today, then say, fifty years ago? If you watch the nightly news, you may think so. Statistics show it may not be so and that it is actually safer today, societal-wise. Add to that, the statistics on dangerous jobs and you find police officer’s rank very low in deaths due to employment, comparatively.

Check it out..and while you are at it, check these documentary trailers, and (the library carries the videos) They are a little troubling, to say the least.

Sometime during the last 240 or so years of nationhood, the focus of our sheriff and police force changed from protecting its citizens to targeting them.

I’m not judging the need or acquisition of needed equipment, but, I do reserve the right to ponder…where is all this headed? What is the need? How much of the need is really propaganda aimed to sway the citizen’s thinking? Whatever it is, it’s working. History shows that similar types of activity preceded other nation’s communistic take-overs, with the citizens clueless.

“No one made a decision to militarize the police in America. The change has come slowly, the result of a generation of politicians and public officials fanning and exploiting public fears by declaring war on abstractions like crime, drug use, and terrorism. The resulting policies have made those war metaphors increasingly real.”
― Radley Balko, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces

We watch this militarization right before our eyes, while simultaneously our right to defend is diminishing with gun registration, licensing, ammunition limits, gun bans, etc. This encroachment isn’t even subtle anymore…it’s blatant. The right to bear arms was not written for hunting rights, nor to keep us safe from thieves and murderers… the right to bear arms was cemented into the constitution for the express intent to keep us safe from a tyrannical government.

When local police forces carry assault weapons and patrol America’s main streets with tanks and drones, the lines blur between the military and law enforcement, who are meant to protect and serve. The lines blur between ally and adversary, between war and peace.



“To disarm the people…[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them.”
– George Mason, June 14, 1788

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