Another Reason Not To Live In Louisiana

I was once offered a (probably) good job in Louisiana, but I turned it down. This kind of thing, reported by Jillian Rayfield of TPM, is one of the reasons:

The Sheriff’s Department in Bossier Parish, Louisiana announced a plan in 2010 to train local volunteers to use shotguns, riot gear and a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on what the sheriff called a “war wagon.” The program was part of “Operation Exodus,” a plan to prepare for a potential terrorist attack or local unrest in the area.

Though it may seem unlikely that Bossier Parish would ever have a need for a “war wagon,” this small town’s pursuit of a powerful, weaponized vehicle is just the tip of the (bullet-proof) iceberg, and reflects an increase in military-grade tanks sought after — and acquired — by local law enforcement departments across the country.

Since 9/11, the federal government has doled out around $34 billion in government grants for local police departments to beef up their security capabilities, according to a December report by the Center For Investigative Reporting. The effect of all of this money — often freely given and poorly regulated — is that local police forces have increasingly taken on a military edge.

Rayfield provides a picture of the vehicle, called a Lenco BearCat. A similar vehicle purchased by Fargo, ND is reported to cost $256,000. It looks like an armored car, but visibly has an LRAD on top. Again according to the article, it “can hold up to 15 officers, and has bulletproof exteriors and ballistic glass, gunports, roof hatches with rotating turrets and gun mount platforms.” And Bossier Parish is not the only place acquiring one of these things; read the article.

The whole war mentality about “terrorism,” which in the minds of some of these people is equivalent to what I call “peaceful protest,” is truly disgusting. Soon enough, in America, it won’t be safe to go outdoors… not because of the terrorists, but because of the cops. And for the privilege of being scared out of our wits, we’re paying $34 billion.

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  • ellroon  On Thursday March 8, 2012 at 9:52 am

    And when you have the latest in toys, you itch to try it out on someone… anyone.. who gives you the slightest excuse. Fun times are a comin’!

    • Steve  On Thursday March 8, 2012 at 10:53 am

      But, but, ellroon… if guns make us safer, then armored personnel carriers are sure to make us safer still…

  • jams o donnell (Shaun Downey)  On Thursday March 8, 2012 at 10:05 am

    This is disturbing. Give these macho wannabes this sort of armament and someone is going to get murdered.

    • Steve  On Thursday March 8, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Shaun, you are regrettably correct. Far from eliminating the death penalty, American police departments will simply apply it to the new crime of “protest,” and they will eliminate the quaint, old-fashioned “trial” step that wasted so much time and taxpayers’ money.

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