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posted by Woods on Wednesday June 11 2014, @08:43PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the articles-that-are-plotlines-to-movies dept.

Jeremy Bender reports that eight different law enforcement agencies in Indiana have purchased massive Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs) that were formerly used in Iraq and Afghanistan. The MRAP is a bulletproof, 60,000-pound, six-wheeled behemoth with heavy armor, a gunner's turret and the word "SHERIFF" emblazoned on its flank.

Pulaski County, home to 13,124 people, is one of the counties that have purchased an MRAP from military surplus. When asked to justify the purchase of a former military vehicle, Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer told the Indy Star:

"The United States of America has become a war zone. There's violence in the workplace, there's violence in schools and there's violence in the streets. You are seeing police departments going to a semi-military format because of the threats we have to counteract. If driving a military vehicle is going to protect officers, then that's what I'm going to do."

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Wednesday June 11 2014, @08:50PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @08:50PM (#54285)

    If Pulaski County, Indiana, has become a war zone where deputies need an armored vehicle to protect themselves, maybe its sheriff is not doing such a good job.

    I don't live there so I don't have a dog in this fight, but my suggestion would be <sarcasm>call in the National Guard to restore order</sarcasm> and get a new sheriff who has a sense of perspective.

    --
    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by edIII on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:46AM

      by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:46AM (#54397)

      I'm going to speak up for the Sheriff here for a second.

      I live in Las Vegas. Two young officers AND a citizen with a concealed carry were shot dead on Saturday. A married couple, who had gone somewhat insane and obsessed with fascism and law enforcement, went on a shooting spree that thankfully ended real early.

      That citizen was dead anyways. He didn't figure on the woman (wife) behind him being part of it. Hesitated for just a moment and got one in the back of the head from a threat he couldn't even identify. That's not sitting real well with guys out here. Had the assailant dead to rights with his handgun and failed to do anything about it. What's worse is that the two officers died in their seats eating pizza at a restaurant. Makes people feel afraid and powerless.

      What frightens him is how fast violence seems to be escalating, and not just in the US. You can't tell me there isn't a wave of extreme dissatisfaction with government and their respective oligarchies across the whole planet and strife nearly everywhere. Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, Sudan, Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, Crimea/Ukraine, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Libya are particularly hot right now.

      Even Canada in a place with 1 murder on average per year just had somebody go nuts and kill a bunch of Mounties.

      The sheriff is doing his job just fine probably. Nothing really major going on. I don't blame him for being afraid, and since he can't actually address the underlying cause, he's left with preparing for the worse. Probably watches Fox News, which after 10 minutes of that, I can understand feeling like this is a country at war. It's an almost 1 or 2 events per week now. I've counted 5 in the last two weeks alone, and more friends than I care to count are going for concealed carry permits now. We're arming ourselves to go to the grocery stores. I went to lunch with 2 handguns, and they weren't mine.

      So don't think it's not just for the sheriff. He may be making the citizens in his jurisdiction feel safer, regardless of the fact it doesn't bring any measurable increase in security for them.

      While we both may have an idea of the underlying causes, it seems pretty bleak and hopeless for either of us to change government, fix the economy, and reign in the elites who've gone way too far. The revolution might have started a little while ago with the whole Clive Bundy ranch deal which happened about 30 minutes away from me. Militants came in scores by the hour looking to help, or just go against the government, from multiple states away.

      The world is becoming more crazy by the day. I can't find fault with the sheriff's statements, only his conclusion that a military vehicle helps.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:53AM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:53AM (#54398) Journal

        Well, if you eat the pizza in the MRAP, . . . .

        --
        You are currently banned from moderating. The last day of your ban is 2022-03-25.
        • (Score: 1) by GmanTerry on Thursday June 12 2014, @07:07AM

          by GmanTerry (829) on Thursday June 12 2014, @07:07AM (#54466)

          I believe you mean donuts, not pizza.

          --
          Since when is "public safety" the root password to the Constitution?
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday June 12 2014, @03:00AM

        by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday June 12 2014, @03:00AM (#54402)

        I'll take the opposite view, then.

        I don't condone shooting random people (not even cops) but I UNDERSTAND the frustration of the people and we are not getting any improvement in the cops' war on america. and yes, they did declare war on us, just not in so many words.

        the feeling I have is VERY common and more and more, its being expressed online in various forums. people would rather deal with problems themselves than call the cops. calling the cops is too risky, now. it should not be that way, but it is.

        what do cops have over us? power and fear and control.

        what that couple was probably trying to do is to give them a taste of their own medicine.

        it won't work, cops are not the smartest people out there and they are stubborn as hell, so they won't see this as any kind of wake-up call. but they should.

        I understand the frustration. I don't understand shooting people, but I do understand feeling powerless and in fear of authority figures who could end your life (and get away with it!) any time they feel like it.

        there's a famous cartoon about that, it has a title "I'm going to kick your ass; and get away with it!". that pretty much explains this whole idea.

        --
        "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
        • (Score: 2) by edIII on Thursday June 12 2014, @03:58AM

          by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 12 2014, @03:58AM (#54420)

          Not so much the opposite view really.

          I defended his statements of us being practically at war with each right now. His fears are not unjustified, and he may be doing his job protecting people just fine is what I was trying to convey.

          Most certainly, I do disagree with his conclusion that a military vehicle helps, for those reasons of fear and control. I thought I said as much.

          It's not just him either. Regular people are trying to figure out how to arm and defend themselves better at this point.

          --
          Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 2) by FakeBeldin on Thursday June 12 2014, @09:17AM

        by FakeBeldin (3360) on Thursday June 12 2014, @09:17AM (#54500) Journal

        I'm going to speak up for the Sheriff here for a second. I live in Las Vegas.
        The one with a population of 13,124? Or the one with over 500,000 [wikipedia.org]?
        Me, I live in a village of 5,2640. The municipality as a whole comprises about 15k inhabitants.
        If your experience relates to the sheriff's, mine should relate as well, no?

        There's hardly any violent crime happening as far as I know. Or read in the news. When I write "hardly", I mean "intentional homicide rate < 1.0 [wikipedia.org]".
        Actually, I mean that I tend to forget to lock my bike/windows/doors and that's usually okay.
        My town doesn't have a SWAT team, and doesn't need one. My sheriff does not need any army vehicles.

        Sure, I don't live in the USA - but I don't see how that excuses needing army vehicles for police.
        Note: I'm not saying the USA police doesn't need it - I'm saying I live somewhere where the police doesn't need it. If you don't: what can you do about it?

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by velex on Thursday June 12 2014, @01:03PM

        by velex (2068) on Thursday June 12 2014, @01:03PM (#54578) Journal

        Here's a suggestion. I haven't read the thread and of course didn't break tradition by RTAing. Maybe, just maybe, we should improve our handling of mental illness.

        Here's a hint: 3 sessions of talk therapy isn't going to fix shit.

        Change our perspective about psychedelics. I hear one LSD trip can do a world more in treating alcoholism than years of AA and talk therapy. Wouldn't it be nice if you were having a bad day and there were something you could smoke that would just brighten things up?

        Who knows. I don't know. This species is failed. Improve care for mental illness and you'll see less people snapping.

        It's a problem. Don't get angry, just fucking fix it. And you're done.

    • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Thursday June 12 2014, @05:55AM

      by davester666 (155) on Thursday June 12 2014, @05:55AM (#54447)

      Note, they need the vehicle to protect themselves, not anybody else.

      • (Score: 1) by Joe Desertrat on Friday June 13 2014, @02:26AM

        by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Friday June 13 2014, @02:26AM (#54780)

        Cops have their own brand of nerdiness, just like anyone else. A chance to buy a big, fancy new toy, who would pass that up? I can see them pulling up to the local Dunkin Donuts, on break from their training of course, and piling out of the vehicle as pleased as a programmer whose code compiled without a bug.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Dunbal on Wednesday June 11 2014, @08:51PM

    by Dunbal (3515) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @08:51PM (#54286)

    I thought violent crime was DOWN overall since the 1990's. The statistics don't support the sheriff's story, but the desire to play with new toys is strong with law enforcement. Of course all that will do is force the real bad guys to arm themselves even more.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:00PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:00PM (#54293)

      My small city already has an MRAP. They paid for shipping, a few thousand dollars, and that was it.

      So this year, despite crime being down another year in a row, the police department decided they need horses! Why the fuck do they need horses? When asked this the police chief told a rambling story about his John Wayne hard-on and how he fell in love with cops on horses when he saw an officer jump off a horse and tackle a suspect. Yeehaw! He then went on to say how he wanted a camera and a cop on every corner just like a big city.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by keplr on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:10PM

      by keplr (2104) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:10PM (#54300) Journal

      All types of violence have been on the decline for pretty much all of humanity's history. It's not a constant downward trend. There are temporary relapses and temporary local reversals, but over any period greater than a few centuries things always get better. The last few decades have been especially good for the decline in violence.

      The militarization of our police is primarily a trickle-down effect from our bloated military budget. There are tons of cheap, even free, military equipment that is still perfectly good but is obsolete compared to the shiny new toys we pump out every year. So it ends up being donated or sold to law enforcement.

      --
      I don't respond to ACs.
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:16PM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:16PM (#54303) Homepage

        The joke's on those police departments when they realize that they have to pay for 'em not once but twice - with parts and maintenance.

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:23PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:23PM (#54306)

          Training can be fun too. From personal experience driving some .mil vehicles is not as simple as jumping in the seat of a F-150 and taking off. And training takes fuel and parts and maint and some training for the mechanics too.

          Note we've been running this against 3rd world countries for years. Here have some old F16, just sign on the line for this service and parts contract and also you'll have to do what we say or we won't fix your toys anymore...

          The tools a trillion dollar military uses don't scale down so well to a two million dollar police dept.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:41PM

          by Sir Garlon (1264) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:41PM (#54313)

          Unfortunately it's the local taxpayer who suffers. The police budget starts creeping up to maintain all that equipment they don't actually need. They say they need it and it would be a waste of taxpayer dollars to throw away that multi-million-dollar MRAP we've already acquired. In for a penny, in for a pound. Besides, we can't take away lifesaving equipment from our neighborhood first responders!

          The worst part is, even a local politician who sees through the scam cannot really afford politically to be seen as antagonistic to local law enforcement.

          --
          [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12 2014, @01:16AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12 2014, @01:16AM (#54370)

      It is about the toys. Here is my relevant anecdote.

      A while back our neighborhood had a community fair one Saturday morning. The volunteer fire department rolled up with a shiny red ladder truck, and they were promptly mobbed by everyone under 12 who wanted to sit on the bench and get their picture taken while sitting on the front bumper.

      Well, the rec center happens to have a sheriff's substation located in it. While my kids were exploring the fire truck, two of the deputies come out and I see them whispering to each other and pointing at the truck. Then one of them gets on the radio.

      Not less than five minutes later, we hear a siren. Pulling up next to the fire truck was a brand-new APC, painted olive green and crewed by three guys in full tac gear. Very Call of Duty. You never saw such smug satisfaction as I saw on the faces of those two cops when all the kids jumped off the fire truck to take a turn standing in the turret of the APC.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday June 12 2014, @03:03AM

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday June 12 2014, @03:03AM (#54403)

      you are correct, this will be an escalation not a de-escalation.

      for an example of how to properly do things, see england. they took guns away from the cops (most of them) and this HELPED increase the peace.

      in the US, we do the opposite. we arm and arm and arm, again, the police force.

      it seems we are not able to learn from other countries. what a damned shame ;(

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 2) by dry on Thursday June 12 2014, @06:09AM

        by dry (223) on Thursday June 12 2014, @06:09AM (#54449) Journal

        I don't think the average cop in England ever was armed with anything more then a billy club. Its really a whole attitude thing, or at least it was. My Dad grew up over there and his attitude towards cops was so different then mine. Basically cops were there to help, not harass. As a kid, if he needed help, lost or a flat tire on his bike, you seeked out a cop whereas here (Canada) its the opposite and things are much more extreme in the States.

        • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday June 12 2014, @12:43PM

          by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday June 12 2014, @12:43PM (#54569)

          that's what I heard, too; I traveled the england regularly in the 80's and 90's and stayed there for weeks at a time. I got to know a tiny bit about the culture and my hosts did tell me that they grew up feeling that the cops were there to protect them and help them. I did ask a UK cop for some help once and they were really nice (I was a yank, so maybe they felt like they should be on better 'show england as cool' behavior) but they could not have been nicer to me and we actually had a bit of fun driving around and trying to catch up with a bus that I missed (long story, almost a funny one). I left feeling that the 'uk cops are not so bad' idea was true. again, this is many decades ago, but at the same timeframe, I would never say I'd trust a US cop or befriend him.

          I don't think kids in the US trust cops, even at extremely young ages. the internet is a great informer and they all know about cops kicking in doors, shooting their dogs, arresting the wrong people and generally causing more trouble than they solve. kids KNOW not to trust authority figures, at least most of them do. and in a way, its good. its good that they know how the world really works. it may save their lives, later on and that's no exaggeration.

          --
          "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
          • (Score: 2) by dry on Friday June 13 2014, @04:06AM

            by dry (223) on Friday June 13 2014, @04:06AM (#54803) Journal

            I was taught not to trust cops when in kindergarten or maybe grade 1, about '67 or '68. There were riots going on back then, marijuana laws being enforced, lots of American political refugees and so on and my older siblings explained to me to never trust a cop and experience agreed. These were the city cops (Vancouver PD) who were always the rejects from other police forces and even then plain old bullies.
            Basically seems that all the small police forces around here are like that. The RCMP are/were somewhat better and I've even met a couple that seemed decent. Currently for me the RCMP are the municipal, provincial and federal police forces. The next town over with its own police force the cops are just plain old arseholes.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by snick on Wednesday June 11 2014, @08:52PM

    by snick (1408) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @08:52PM (#54287)

    The idea that crime is exploding and police are reacting is beyond fiction. It shows that the Sheriff has had a break with reality.

    Crime rates are fairly low and stable.

    I'd say that Police crime is at an all time high, but we don't keep honest records of that, so it is hard to say.

    • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday June 12 2014, @03:05AM

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday June 12 2014, @03:05AM (#54404)

      there you go; you stated it perfectly.

      CITIZEN crime rate has gone down.

      POLICE ABUSE crime rate has gone up.

      if anything, we need to REMOVE weapons from the cops, not ADD to their artillery!

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Subsentient on Wednesday June 11 2014, @08:55PM

    by Subsentient (1111) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @08:55PM (#54289) Homepage Journal

    "So it begins" -Kosh

    --
    Trying is the first step towards failure. -The Click
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by isostatic on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:50PM

      by isostatic (365) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:50PM (#54316) Journal

      It began a long time ago, and you, the American public, love it.

      Look at the loving reaction to martial law in Boston when a couple of kids with a flash bang managed to kill a total of 3 people! You Americans cowered behind your TV sets clutching your copy of "land of the free home of the brave" with no sense of the irony.

      • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Wednesday June 11 2014, @10:17PM

        by mhajicek (51) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @10:17PM (#54324)

        Your source of information was what; the news media? You think they'll show interviews with people they disagree with?

      • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday June 11 2014, @10:49PM

        by Tork (3914) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @10:49PM (#54332)
        ... a 'flash bang'...? Why exactly do you feel like you're in possession of a valid opinion on this topic?
        --
        Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by redneckmother on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:10AM

      by redneckmother (3597) on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:10AM (#54385)

      re: "So it begins" -Kosh

      Or perhaps:

      "And so it goes." - Vonnegut

      --
      Mas cerveza por favor.
    • (Score: 2) by quacking duck on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:33AM

      by quacking duck (1395) on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:33AM (#54394)

      "The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote."
        - Kosh

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12 2014, @09:33AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12 2014, @09:33AM (#54504)

      "In my pants" - BV

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday June 11 2014, @08:57PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 11 2014, @08:57PM (#54291) Journal

    Depoting military equipment at police stations all over the country will make it exponentially easier for all of us to get our hands on military grade armaments. As such, yeah, that's a fine plan for the Masters of the Universe to be pursuing. I originally thought that when the news came out 10 years ago that national guard detachments were getting M1 tanks, but it will be even easier to take stuff like that from the cops than from weekend warriors.

    In the meantime, there's always thermite. Such an easy formula, such a powerful reaction.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by lx on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:09PM

      by lx (1915) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:09PM (#54299)

      He-Man would never plan this. Skeletor just might.

  • (Score: 2) by pbnjoe on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:02PM

    by pbnjoe (313) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:02PM (#54295) Journal

    It's a dangerous world full of violence and terror. You had best stay in your homes and let the police keep you safe, lest your public actions be mistaken for violence and you hear a MRAP-rap-rap on your door (or body, if you're caught in the act).

    Ok, so I'm joking around, but what state of mind do you have to be in to think that the violence rate is that high? Like others have said, it's not even close enough to require what's essentially municipal military. Either delusion or a grasp at control, methinks. Most likely former.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mhajicek on Wednesday June 11 2014, @10:20PM

      by mhajicek (51) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @10:20PM (#54325)

      As the frequency of violent acts declines, each act is perceived as more shocking and severe. This leads to emotional overreaction.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by dry on Thursday June 12 2014, @06:17AM

        by dry (223) on Thursday June 12 2014, @06:17AM (#54451) Journal

        The media and some "tough on crime" politicians totally fixate on the violent act and pretty quick it seems like there is way more then there really is as the message is repeated over and over.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by VLM on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:15PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:15PM (#54301)

    Its mostly an intimidation technique. To intimidate the general population not the criminal.

    Just had a small APC used down the street last year. Quasi-loser gets kicked out of house, goes out gets drunk comes back to former house somehow gets inside (a little unclear on this) sorta passes out on couch not really awake not really out. Wifey wants to get even and get rid of him, she calls cops. Cops always willing to put on a show. Is there a gun in the house? Sure thing, hunting rifle locked up in closet (never left the closet for the duration of this story BTW) Fine we'll send in the APC.

    Cops waited outside with APC and roadblocks until he totally passed out, then "valiently" charged in and tased him repeatedly for fun. Sounded pretty sick listening to a guy get tortured for fun over the police scanner, but hey, "tough on crime". They also punished the chick by smashing in "her" doors and windows.

    Also seen it used to serve papers on people (like divorce papers, that kind of thing). If you're a former felon ex-con or whatever you're "high risk" so in this unusual situation they're using the APC to intimidate. What an interesting way to find out you're being sued or divorced or whatever.

    Going back more than a decade they used to use / train the SWAT team by sending them in for very small time dealers. That was fairly comical. "What you got Osama Bin Ladin surrounded in there?" just some very small time pot dealers who ripped someone off, so they got even. I'm sure if they had the APC it would have been used.

    There are a couple problems. You can give away a (formerly) million dollar APC but you aren't giving away maint and spare parts and oddly enough especially for obsolete-ish .mil stuff, those aren't cheap. I suspect thats why my rich suburb with no real crime has an APC while the ghetto 20 miles away does not. Another problem is they have no idea what to do with it other than parade it around for intimidation. So they roll it off the flatbed and it just sits there until its hauled away. Oh how useful. I'm not entirely sure the engine is operational. I'd worry a lot more about issuing full auto M16s as those are slightly easier to maintain and steal, tear gas grenades, stuff like that.

    • (Score: 1) by tftp on Thursday June 12 2014, @01:07AM

      by tftp (806) on Thursday June 12 2014, @01:07AM (#54368) Homepage

      Oh how useful.

      You cannot even imagine how useful it becomes when a bureaucrat in charge of paperclips and pencils is suddenly able to write a $1M, no-bid service contract to a local business. Can you imagine how grateful that business becomes? Especially considering that the prop does not need service either way. Sitting on large and wide streams of money creates lots of power.

  • (Score: 2) by Darth Turbogeek on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:16PM

    by Darth Turbogeek (1073) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:16PM (#54302)

    Only because that's what you want to be, buddy. Fuck off and go play your Judge Dredd fantasy somewhere else. Like on the Sun.

    • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:52PM

      by isostatic (365) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:52PM (#54317) Journal

      I just watched the recent robot op remake on the plane this morning. Very apt description of America now, except robocop had. A senator with a backbone, which stretched the suspension of disbelief a little too far (like Chris pine having a windows mobile phone in Jack Ryan secret agent)

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Bob9113 on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:22PM

    by Bob9113 (1967) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:22PM (#54305)

    There's violence in the workplace, there's violence in schools and there's violence in the streets. You are seeing police departments going to a semi-military format because of the threats we have to counteract.

    Violent crime is down across the board. You can stretch and say multiple shootings are up, but total shootings are still down. Historically low levels. Let me fix that for you...

    There's less violence in the workplace, there's less violence in schools and there's less violence in the streets than ever before. You are seeing police departments going to a semi-military format because our penises are very small and the media loves violent headlines.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:27PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:27PM (#54307)

      "You are seeing police departments going to a semi-military format because our penises are very small and the media loves violent headlines."

      I've been mystified at the correlation between this and the "recent" rise of female cops.

      is it "I may not have a weiner like you guys but I do have a APC of my very own to wave" or "Can't stand seeing chicks feminize our profession, but even just thinking about getting an APC stops things from shriveling". maybe both simultaneously who knows.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Sir Garlon on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:34PM

        by Sir Garlon (1264) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:34PM (#54310)

        I think it has a lot more to do with a general trend of politicians scaring the public to justify trampling the Consitution/grabbing power. I don't mean the sheriff, I mean Congress.

        Maybe we are each seeing what we want to see.

        --
        [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:35PM

    by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:35PM (#54311) Journal

    My son-in-law-to-be wants to go into the RCMP and in to the Tactical Unit or the Bomb disposal squad, because he doesn't think the normal service would be exciting enough.

    Shows the difference.

    But then again, if we were invaded by the Russians (for example.... could just as well be the Americans, although they've done a good enough job with walmart and tv) we would have to bend over and take it unless Wil Wheaton took us under his wing.

    Dog bless Wil Wheaton!

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 2) by Blackmoore on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:39PM

    by Blackmoore (57) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:39PM (#54312) Journal

    War zone .. right..

    starts walking tword the camera; as I put sunglasses on. Large explosion fires off behind me.
    camera pans as I get into my tank, and slowly drive off.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by The Archon V2.0 on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:52PM

    by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:52PM (#54319)

    I think he - and the rest of the tin soldiers that spent citizens' money on this hardware - needs an object lesson in what the difference is between Saturday night in a "big city" of 2,500 people ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winamac,_Indiana [wikipedia.org] ) and a conflict that's taken almost 3,500 from our side ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_casualties_in_Afghanistan [wikipedia.org] ).

    Or is the local bootlegger using leftover NATO equipment to guard his stock now?

  • (Score: 1) by meisterister on Wednesday June 11 2014, @10:41PM

    by meisterister (949) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @10:41PM (#54329) Journal

    "I will make The United States of America become a war zone."

    FTFY

    --
    (May or may not have been) Posted from my K6-2, Athlon XP, or Pentium I/II/III.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12 2014, @04:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12 2014, @04:27PM (#54643)

      I think you mean: I want some toys to make it easier to stomp on people's rights so they'll "Respect my authoritah!", and I'll use whatever inflammatory rhetoric I can think of so that taxpayers won't balk at the ridiculous waste of money.

  • (Score: 2) by tempest on Wednesday June 11 2014, @11:03PM

    by tempest (3050) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @11:03PM (#54337)

    They key here is that it was SURPLUS. Just last year everyone was speculating what the military was going to do with all those MRAPs, likely just give them away at extreme discounts like " One of the Indiana counties spent only $5,000 for its MRAP" according to the article. Justify the cost? Does the County Sherrif have ANY vehicle that cost UNDER $5000? Didn't think so. Police in this country have become increasingly militarized sure, but I don't think the department has to justify anything. I'd think the police are at least a useful place to deposit such surplus vehicles. Pulaski County Indiana? Maybe not, but it's up to them.

    • (Score: 1) by rancid on Wednesday June 11 2014, @11:39PM

      by rancid (4090) <reversethis-{ten.rotliam} {ta} {izbas}> on Wednesday June 11 2014, @11:39PM (#54352)

      They could sell it for parts and scrap. The department could turn a profit. That's what is happening in real warzones. [ap.org]

      Transform swords in the plowshares.

      • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Thursday June 12 2014, @12:07AM

        by Dunbal (3515) on Thursday June 12 2014, @12:07AM (#54357)

        Wishful thinking. It is impossible for any government branch to turn a profit. But I'll bet the police chiefs' brother/cousin/uncle who happens to have a scrap metal company would turn a hell of a profit...

      • (Score: 1) by looorg on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:05AM

        by looorg (578) on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:05AM (#54382)

        More like the trash and scraps are turned into IED:s.

    • (Score: 1) by looorg on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:13AM

      by looorg (578) on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:13AM (#54387)

      Considering that a normal police car cost anywhere from $20k-50k depending on how much equipment and extras it has if they can have an MRAP for $5k then more power to them. That said tho it probably wont replace standard police vehicles for normal usage. I do wonder what the top speed and gas milage of an MRAP is, I doubt it would be comparable to a normal police car.

      • (Score: 1) by compro01 on Thursday June 12 2014, @03:06AM

        by compro01 (2515) on Thursday June 12 2014, @03:06AM (#54406)

        It should also be said that the cost of maintenance on this thing is going to be a hell of a lot more than on a cop car.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by looorg on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:21AM

    by looorg (578) on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:21AM (#54389)

    If you want to find someone to blame for the militarization of the police across the country look no further then the Department of Homeland Security, Defense and Justice. They are pushing out money on these small sheriffs departments and counties that are earmarked for buying, military-grade, hardware. They might not need or even want the stuff, vehicles - gear - training - etc, but if you get money from Uncle Sam you might as well spend them or they are going to go away and since they are earmarked you can't really buy what you want or what you need anyway.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:55AM

    by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:55AM (#54399)

    quote:

    "If driving a military vehicle is going to protect officers, then that's what I'm going to do."

    somewhere along the line, the cops stopped working for US and started to go into business for themselves. they USED to have 'to serve and protect' on their cars but the courts have decided (wrongly so, imho) that they do not exist to protect us. clearly they don't even serve us or our common good anymore, either.

    they care more about protecting THEMSELVES. and that's just plain wrong. that's more like gang behavior than being The Good Guys(tm). good guys will work for you and take risks, which is PART OF THEIR JOB!

    the simple fact is: they are mostly just overgrown boys who love toys and will do what they can to justify it in any way they can get away with.

    they break down doors, shoot your dog and then arrest YOU even if they came to the wrong house. cover your ass, don't cross the Blue Line(tm) and don't ever speak up against internal wrong-doing. meet your quotas and raise money via traffic tickets and citizen property theft ('asset seizure' bullshit laws).

    people are now totally fed up with this crap. they would rather deal with problems themselves than call the cops. I won't call the cops even if I need them since I could come to more harm, inadvertently. if they come out, they need to come back with 'someone' and it could be you, the caller. not worth that risk.

    I wonder when, if ever, things will change and improve? with the militarization (totally unnecessary, btw) of the police, they are no longer representing the citizens and they are basically declaring war on anyone who is a non-cop.

    this is NOT what america was supposed to be about.

    but I'm not expecting a change. I know how the world works. best just to avoid cops entirely, for your own safety and security.

    --
    "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12 2014, @05:42AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12 2014, @05:42AM (#54442)

    Good enough for batman, good enough for me

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12 2014, @11:29AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12 2014, @11:29AM (#54530)

    Early retirement.