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The Jehoshua Novels


Training excercise startles locals

It may have looked like they were ready for war or some deranged person looking for his late Social Security benefits.

But it was only Federal Protective Service officers with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security who were conducting a random training operation early Tuesday morning when they surprisingly showed up at the Social Security Administration office in downtown Leesburg.

With their blue and white SUVs circled around the Main Street office, at least one official was posted on the door with a semiautomatic rifle, randomly checking identifications. And other officers, some with K-9s, sifted through the building.

(“They hate our freedoms”. – Bush Jr.”)

7 comments to Training excercise startles locals

  • justadood

    scared people are easier to control.

    “It’s no longer IOKIYAR….It’s OK If You’re A Republican, but IOKBYAR–It’s OK BECAUSE You’re a Republican.” — Me

  • Chickadee

    there’s a bit of overstaffing in this pod of Homeland inSecurity. Not to mention lots of otherwise unused expensive cars, guns and scary costumes.

  • Chickadee

    “Battlefield Main Street” for The Daily by Benjamin Carlson, December 5.

    Through its little-known “1033 program,” the Department of Defense gave away nearly $500 million worth of leftover military gear to law enforcement in fiscal year 2011 — a new record for the program and a dramatic rise over past years’ totals, including the $212 million in equipment distributed in 2010.

    The surplus equipment includes grenade launchers, helicopters, military robots, M-16 assault rifles and armored vehicles.

    And the program’s recent expansion shows no sign of slackening: Orders in fiscal year 2012 are up 400 percent over the same period in 2011, according to data provided to The Daily by the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency.

    Passed by Congress in 1997, the 1033 program was created to provide law-enforcement agencies with tools to fight drugs and terrorism. Since then, more than 17,000 agencies have taken in $2.6 billion worth of equipment for nearly free, paying only the cost of delivery.

    YIKES!

  • Chickadee

    The New American by Alex Newman, Dec 7.

    Excerpt”

    Billions of taxpayer dollars are being used by the U.S. Department of Defense to provide military-grade weaponry to local law-enforcement departments, and the shadowy “1033” weapons program is expanding at a record pace. But critics of the scheme are concerned as even small-town police forces are building up arsenals that include amphibious tanks, helicopters, armored personnel carriers, robots, grenade launchers, and more.

    According to Pentagon data cited by The Daily, the Defense Department gave away almost $500 million worth of surplus military equipment to state and local law enforcement in 2011 — a new record. And next year’s orders are already up more than 400 percent.

    Meanwhile, violent crime has plummeted to 40-year lows. But since the 1033 program was authorized by Congress in 1997, more than $2.5 billion of gear has been distributed to over 17,000 local and state agencies.

    “The trend toward militarization was well under way before 9/11,” Tim Lynch, director of the Cato Institute’s project on criminal justice, told The Daily. “But it’s the federal policy of making surplus military equipment available almost for free that has poured fuel on this fire.”

    Lynch said the militarization of local law enforcement has had a “corrupting influence” on policing culture in America, creating “paramilitary” units all across the nation. “They say, ‘look we’ve got this equipment, this training and we haven’t been using it.’ That’s where it starts to creep into routine policing,” he added.

  • Chickadee

    1033. Just the facts, ma’am.

    Justnet.org

  • Chickadee

    by Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz of the Center for Investigative Reporting for The Daily Beast December 21

    To assess the changes in law enforcement for The Daily Beast, the Center for Investigative Reporting conducted interviews and reviewed grant spending records obtained through open records requests in 41 states. The probe found stockpiles of weaponry and military-style protective equipment worthy of a defense contractor’s sales catalog.
    In Montgomery County, Texas, the sheriff’s department owns a $300,000 pilotless surveillance drone, like those used to hunt down al Qaeda terrorists in the remote tribal regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Augusta, Maine, with fewer than 20,000 people and where an officer hasn’t died from gunfire in the line of duty in more than 125 years, police bought eight $1,500 tactical vests. Police in Des Moines, Iowa, bought two $180,000 bomb-disarming robots, while an Arizona sheriff is now the proud owner of a surplus Army tank.

    The rise of equipment purchases has paralleled an apparent increase in local SWAT teams, but reliable numbers are hard to come by. The National Tactical Officers Association, which provides training and develops SWAT standards, says it currently has about 1,650 team memberships, up from 1,026 in 2000.
    Many of America’s newly armed officers are ex-military veterans from the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Charles Ramsey, who was police chief in Washington, D.C., on 9/11, upgraded the weaponry when he moved to Philadelphia in 2008. Today, some 1,500 Philly beat cops are trained to use AR-15 assault rifles.
    “We have a lot of people here, like most departments, who are ex-military,” Ramsey says. “Some people are very much into guns and so forth…”

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