When Police Agencies Combine, Liberty is Extinguished

by Will Grigg
May. 28, 2014

Canyon County, Idaho Sheriff Kieran Donahue used a speech at the May 15 Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony to acknowledge that local law enforcement is officially extinct.

On hand at the ceremony, which was part of a national observance, were officers and agents from dozens of city, county, state, and federal law enforcement bodies. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden participated, as did Wendy Olson, the US Attorney for Idaho.

In his remarks, Sheriff Donahue emphasized that all of these agencies are on the “same side,” and criticized what he called “turf wars” that undermine the unity of law enforcement efforts.

“Those boundaries are gone, and it was high time … that happened,” declared Sheriff Donahue. “And we’re very fortunate that we can be a part of that.”

The boundaries Sheriff Donahue found so objectionable are necessary to protect the rights of individuals and the reserved powers of local officials. They are the administrative equivalent of the political checks and balances imposed by the Constitution on the three branches of government. The Constitution never contemplated nor authorized a federal role in local law enforcement.

Donahue, whose duties include holding back overreaching federal officials, sees himself as their colleague. From such collegial relationships, police states are born.

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