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.

Militarized Police Force

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

militarized police forcesThe 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.

Armored Police VehiclesWith 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:

tampa swat vehicle
Tampa Florida’s New Police Vehicles Look like something out of a Sci-Fi Movie
waterloo armor vehicle
Waterloo Iowa’s (yep Iowa’s) new Urban Assault Vehicles Purchased with a Department of Homeland Security grant for their Police Department’s “tactical teams”

Larimer County MRAP

Police in Body Armor

Sherriff's office in Tactical Riot Gear

Police Drones
Police from around the country now being outfitted with their own personal drones
Shadowhawk Police Drone
The Infamous Shadowhawk Police Drone. Vanguard Defense Industries, the Maker of the Shadowhawk Drone, proudly states on their website that DHS will provide local police departments these drones at no cost.


  1. MolenLabe
    July 22, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    This country has been stolen right out from under us as we all sat fat, happy and dumb staring at our T.V’s

    What have we done?

    • asdf
      July 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      there is still time to take our country back.

      • conservative
        September 22, 2013 at 5:25 pm

        i agree we can still save our america

    • Frank
      January 8, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Yes its gone . The new world is here.

    • wayne
      April 8, 2014 at 5:10 am

      the world is going to run out of food and water so the governments of the world who think they are above us are going to have to kill as many as 1/3 of the population so that they can live our own government as already built concentration camps to house up to 25 million americans which they wish us to beleive to be for natural disaster but in reality they are processing plant to start the new world of their choice with their population control
      the time to take up arms is near
      it will be the final battle kill or be killed

    • Curiouser
      July 4, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      MolenLabe – SO RIGHT! And, people still don’t get it. You talk with people and try to get them to get off the TV local news and education themselves through alternative news sources and they look at you as if you’re nuts. The moral compass is out of sight and the mainstream news and entertainment industry is in league with a government that wants us to be oblivious to the truth. It’s all a diversion. The cell phone is a pox on society too. Oh, I can go on and on. I fell more sorry for future Americans.

  2. Cop
    July 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Great article and thank you for pointing this out. There are many people on the force that know something is wrong, unfortunately there are far more who don’t have a clue.

    • Super mom
      July 24, 2016 at 9:49 am

      With everything that I’ve read.. my question is how much of our military forces would actually be willing to turn against the citizens they swore to protect in such a violent and malicious manor..? How many of them would be able to wave their assault rifles and big cannons at innocent children who have done no more wrong than your average family dog..?

  3. Jackson Chambers
    July 22, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    While I would agree that 9/11 blurred lines I think DHS began with good intentions that has turned into and is now one mans private army or police force. I find it completely appauling that amidst the millions of Americans out of work and the economy in the state its in were providing our local police departments with this type of equipment. I was in L.E. for 10 years within one of our nations most violent cities and I see no use for this equipment. Cool toys yes buy a waste of money when you consider were cutting veterans benefits

    • diablos
      July 23, 2013 at 6:27 am

      the road to hell is paved with good intentions…

  4. Sherman
    July 22, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    He with the most and biggist toys wins.And they are winning with our money.

    • Namath
      August 2, 2013 at 7:05 pm

      Well your rite but what’s wrong with your local police force being prepared. Isn’t that what it’s all about? I want my local cops to be ready and capable. Not just stand around and get run over. Better more than not enough.

      • Bootsnsaddles
        October 26, 2013 at 8:34 am

        Our Intelligence services, DHS, FBI, State and local Police are services created originally for the secure protection of the United States Citizens.
        Never for Abuse of Power for political gain, as is the case today. The manifestation of Official Oppression lays within the controlling communist end goal of this President and his Administrative team backed up by a majority Democrat Senate which has been consumed by the ideology of the Far Left.

      • Super mom
        July 24, 2016 at 9:58 am

        But at what cost..? It’s not a question of whether or not they are prepared but a question of what they’re preparing for..

    • Kim Shimkus
      January 12, 2014 at 11:58 am

      so why doesn’t everyone stop working and bankrupt there Ass easy if you don’t give them money from taxes they cant fight simple enough are forefather didn’t need there aid and we don’t either

  5. Gandalf
    July 22, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Tick, tock…Tick tock. One more straw on the camel’s back; one more nail in liberty’s coffin. Tick, tock…Tick tock. When will the sheeple see,it’s all a crock. It’s not the enemies without they fear, you see. It’s the ones they see within; it’s you and me. Tick tock…Tick tock.

  6. Proud Patriot
    July 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Is it starting to mask sense to people yet why they want our guns?

  7. peter
    July 23, 2013 at 7:18 am

    this is good, there is a silver lining, complete collapse is not going to be in the face of a large military force but rather through the collapse of the economy, police still need to eat and drink, once they die just imagine all the gear lying around waiting to be scavenged

    • dgroover
      August 8, 2013 at 4:56 am

      Not all Police will be on the wrong side. Many already see through the B.S. they are being fed.

      As far as food and water for the police will need to eat and drink, FEMA will take good care of them.

      We all need to pray for our country and it’s leaders as often as possible. We need to fight with our votes and to convince as many people as we can to do the same. We need to vote for the candidates who will lead this country back to the freedom and justice that our founders fought for.
      Next years election will probably be our last chance to save our freedom. May God Bless America!

      • Dorothy
        September 18, 2013 at 2:18 pm

        Yes, God bless us
        it’s just that America is not blessing God
        we have made a mess of things but we can turn things around by repenting and following the Lord Jesus Christ, our risen Savior and King!

    July 23, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Tall trees and deep gorges, trees to tall for copter and gorges to deep for armored vehicles, I shoot at 700 yards and down, i’m at peace with GOD have ammo, water and food for years. Sorry for the rest.

    • T. Cusati
      July 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      SNIPER, my family and I would welcome the oppertunity to join you.

      • Cranfill
        July 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm

        A Sniper is exactly what will be used to take you out before you realize you’ve been hit. Then they will steal your ammo, eat your food and pop all of your firecrackers and then they will burn down your house with your remains in it….

        • SNIPER
          July 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm

          I hope that I see them before they see me, so far so good, been doing it for the govt. since 1973.

      • SNIPER
        July 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm

        What skills do you offer to the group, when it gets to that point cities will be hell and the people that have the most to offer will be the first in, I have short term and long term needs for my group in place, but we do have room for expansion, North Alabama/Midsouth Tennessee.

        • SouthernMissourian
          January 10, 2014 at 6:12 pm

          What about southern Missouri?

    • TimeHasCome
      July 26, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      I too am at peace with god can shoot 300 yards . My motto is one that Winston Churchill would have used had Germany made landfall in WW2 ” Take one with you”

  9. Namath
    August 2, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Well your rite but what’s wrong with your local police force being prepared. Isn’t that what it’s all about? I want my local cops to be ready and capable. Not just stand around and get run over. Better more than not enough.

  10. Namath
    August 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Does anyone remember the l.a. bank robbers that kick the crap out of the big city cops because they weren’t as prepared. Is this what we prefer.? I’m skeptical of our gov. But we have to realize that we also need them to perform there dutys

    • Bootsnsaddles
      October 26, 2013 at 9:02 am

      @ Namath, As long as the local and State Cops stay loyal to the US Constitution and not a Communist Agenda bent Political Tryant who supplies these advanced tools of military warfare.

  11. Old Poor Richard
    August 3, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Need to figure out how to preferably electronically hijack, or if not possible, electronically jam those drones.

    • sherman
      August 13, 2013 at 11:36 am

      223 plus scope,cover,escape rout

    • Maximus
      November 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

      There is a way to jam or kill a drone. they work on a certain frequencies. Look up how to kill a drone you get your answer

    • NightHunter
      April 27, 2015 at 6:36 am

      Its called a 12 gauge shotgun!!

  12. Douglas
    August 15, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Death before Servitude! I will take some with me.
    molon labe

  13. Walking Will
    August 28, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    There is a great book on the militarism of the USA police forces; “Rise of The Warrior Cop,” by Radley Balko. A must read for all concerned citizens.

  14. Wethepeople
    October 18, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    I believe our founding fathers saw an armed citizenry as an essential part of the balance of power within our country. The governmental balance of power is within the three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. In the normal course of events, those are enough. But, in extreme times, whether the danger comes from outside our country or from a small faction within, as long as every able-bodied man in the country is armed and can join in our common defense, the country that is “we the people” will survive. I do not see a problem with arming and training either our military personnel or our police, within a reasonable budget; it becomes a problem when the arms or training are denied to the rest of us, the common man, the farmer, laborer, factory worker, businessman, all of us. When our founding fathers planned for an armed citizenry, the weapons available at the time were basically the same for a soldier as for a farmer hunting. I think it is equally reasonable for a common man to have any weapon any military unit might have. After all, we the people are the militia. Extremists promote fear that criminals would abuse certain weapons, such as “assault weapons”, but what is their real agenda? Is it to eliminate all weapons, one at a time, from the hands of the common man? If so, my fellow countrymen, we would be foolish to allow that agenda to succeed. With regard to our local police, get to know them, support them, train with them, and remind them we are not the problem; together with them we are part of the solution. This is and shall remain our country, of the people, by the people, and for the people.

    • NightHunter
      April 27, 2015 at 6:36 am

      America was founded by guns and the government will be liberated by guns. My father said that he read once the government thought they were untouchable we need to restart and make a new government. If thats what the people want to do of course. I dont want to tell everyone what to do lets make that abundantly clear.

  15. Frank
    January 8, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    surplus tanks and weapons of war for the local police .Hummmm is it really surplus or was the funding done on purpose. Who orders extea tanks on the tax payers dime ? Crooks thats who . very simple the united states has been taken over.

    • Frank
      January 8, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      I here the caymans are nice you can go in the street and not worry about seeing a tank rolling down the road. What a corrupt bunch of people. How can so many crooks be in one place ? (government)

  16. Vincent Reynolds
    March 10, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Merseyside Police Force-U.K. Look just like this.

  17. Andrew
    December 31, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Shoutout to NoDak! The Fargo example may seem like too much money being spent here, but I hope people understand that Fargo (largest city in ND) hosts a large border patrol office that supports the busiest terminal between St. Paul, MN and Washington state.
    These grants are also lifesavers for counties like mine with a population of 7,000 to equip us with 4×4 vehicles and proper equipment training. I’m not saying tanks are justified, but a lot of other elements help keep the thin blue line a little stronger.

  18. David
    March 9, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    I spent 25 years as a LEO. We received the same funding. There was not one officer that would violate the constitution in that way and we talked about it all the time. I don’t know about the north but in the south, we don’t trust the Feds either, but we will take their money. Who knows, the South may have to rise again!!

    • NightHunter
      April 27, 2015 at 6:33 am

      I live in the north and if the South rises again im moving down south. I love the south. Truthfully im a southern boy that has been raised in the north. I admit i talk like a northern person would but i love the south with all my heart.

  19. Kare
    September 22, 2016 at 7:18 am

    All people have the right to protect themselves from danger. Stop waiting on the Police. If a terrorist gets in your home,? where will the Police be when you walk in and are faced with that

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