"Use It, or Lose It": Federally Subsidized Police Escalation
William Norman Grigg
In Caldwell, Idaho, a SWAT team was deployed on August 12 in an effort to apprehend a single suspected gang member, who escaped and was subsequently arrested through less dramatic means.
Caldwell, as some might recall, was the scene of a SWAT-style midnight raid carried out in February 2013 in which the residents of an entire apartment complex were terrorized by officers carrying out a supposed “welfare check.” The raiders kicked in two doors before finding the man they were after, who had been accused of posting a “threatening” image on Facebook after having an argument with a woman.
Six days after the most recent SWAT raid in Caldwell, police in Boise dispatched a SWAT team in an MRAP -- a combat-grade armed vehicle -- to arrest a man suspected of pointing a gun at a pedestrian. This raid, which took place late in the evening, resulted in an arrest on a single misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace, which is the sort of thing that happens when police carry out a military-style raid at midnight.
Neither of those arrests required the use of a SWAT team and military hardware, which were used because of availability, not need. Since 2011, reports the Idaho Statesman, police agencies in Idaho have received more than $9.3 million in military equipment from the federal government. This includes MRAP combat vehicles, which have been given to police departments in Boise, Nampa, Caldwell, Pocatello, Post Falls, and Preston.
The last city on that roster of those “blessed” with an MRAP, Preston, is a tranquil community of about 5,000 people near the Utah border where crime is practically unknown. Last October I interviewed Chief Ken Geddes, who was prickly and defensive, invoking the Sandy Hook massacre and the ubiquitous threat of terrorism to justify the acquisition of a military assault vehicle.
For its part, the Statesman couldn’t persuade Chief Geddes to speak on the record about his department’s expensive new toy — for which a use will have to be found very soon, if Chief Geddes wants to keep it.
Analyst Noel Brinkerhoff points out that the Pentagon's 1033 program specifies that "any participating law enforcement agency must use its equipment within one year of receiving it. If they don't, they have to give it up."
If a police department wants combat gear, it can get it, and once the department has that gear, it will use it. In fact, the Feds will require that they invent a “need” where none exists. This helps explain why routine police calls are now treated as potential military engagements.
Latest Tyranny/Police State
- Cop Tells Woman There's "No Excuse" For Parking The Wrong Way, Says It's Against The Law To Film Him
- NYPD Cops Terrified of New Bills that Will Stop them from Choking and Illegally Searching People
- Cop Kills Man with Patrol Car While Speeding & Looking at Laptop, Flexes Blue Privilege – No Charges
- TSA Asks America To LOL At Traveler Who Had $75,000 Taken From Him By Federal Agents
- War Veteran with PTSD Faces Life in Prison for Pot, His Wife Calls for Help
- No Charges Against Cops That Killed 17-Yr-Old Kristiana Coignard
- This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
- Judge Orders Lying, Cheating Government To Return $167,000 To The Man They Stole It From
FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.