The Militarization & Federalization of State and Local Police Forces
Drones, Armored Vehicles with High Power Weapons, Tanks, and Battlefield Helicopters: What was once used exclusively by our military, is now finding its way into the hands of local police forces throughout America – and the Federal government is using your tax dollars to militarize these police forces.
This is something that in my opinion needs to be taken seriously. Local and State police forces look much different from they did 50 years ago, hell they look completely different from they did only a decade ago. Today’s police are being trained in, and equipped with, military gear and tactics – but nobody seems to be asking WHY!
9/11 & Terrorism Used to Militarize American Police Forces
The line between the Military, Local & State Polices Forces, and the Federal Government really started to blur shortly after 9/11. While the wheels had been churning for some time, 9/11 really allowed them to kick things into overdrive.
As the government consolidated control under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), they used the new agency to start federalizing state and local police departments. Through “terrorism grants“, the Department of Homeland Security started becoming very cozy with police departments throughout the United States – even in extremely rural areas where the chance of a terrorist attack was near zero.
With these grants, DHS – thanks to the American taxpayer – essentially paid to turn local police forces into a de facto homeland military force for the Federal Government. Billions of dollars have been spent arming police forces across the country with military grade weapons, body armor, helicopters, tanks, and armored personnel carriers. Some of these police forces are actually better equipped than the soldiers fighting overseas.
To give you an example of the absurd nature of this spending, in Fargo, North Dakota, where there have only been two homicides since 2005, the local police force was given over $8 million in grant money. The city used the money to buy bomb-detection robots, digital communications equipment, Kevlar helmets, and a new $256,643 armored truck, complete with a rotating turret.
But Fargo’s not the only town; it’s almost every police department in the country.
Across the United States, police departments both big and small are all getting in on the action. In fact, there’s so much money being spent to militarize these local police forces that government defense contractors, who once only dealt with the military, are now turning their full attention to police agencies.
Earlier in the year, we reported on one defense contractor who was using a marketing video that featured a mock scenario where law enforcement officers used the companies Shadowhawk drone to follow two men who are engaged in the legal private sale of a gun. These types of scenarios are being used to desensitize local police forces, and convince them that they have some sort of need for this military equipment.
Marketing Videos Geared Towards Local Police Forces used to promote Military Grade Equipment
Here is just a small sample of what your local police now look like: