Balko on the Militarization of Mayberry

A town of 4,500 people in New Jersey that hasn’t had a murder in more than a decade has a SWAT team. And now city officials think their police officers need assault rifles too. Welcome to the highly militarized police state.

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About Ed Brayton

After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and the Thom Hartmann Show, and is almost certain that he is the only person ever to make fun of Chuck Norris on C-SPAN.

  • naturalcynic

    I’m sure that they could use some penis-enlarging device. It would be cheaper, but then again, the feds may not pay for it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rick.desper rickdesper

    Welfare for the well-connected homeland security industry.

  • jaketoadie

    Natualcynic #1:

    No, the government would pay for it, this isn’t something that would help exclusively women, so it would be ok for tax dollars to be spent on it.

  • Abby Normal

    And now city officials think their police officers need assault rifles too.

    Reminds me of the time I tried to convince my boss that an analysis I was compiling would be greatly enhanced by an on-site visit to the customer’s facility… in Hawaii. Not even Mayberry is immune to the glittery lure of boondoggles.

  • Olav

    Oo, militarization of the police. Now I get to spam this link again:

    http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2012/10/01/private-security-force-arrests-supporters-of-striking-walmart-warehouse-workers/

    That’s not even the police mind you, it’s private “security” that is being used by Walmart against its employees (who happen to be on strike).

  • lofgren

    A town of 4,500 people in New Jersey that hasn’t had a murder in more than a decade has a SWAT team.

    Who cares if they haven’t had a murder in more than a decade? It’s irrelevant. Statistically speaking, there are probably 600 people in that town who have smoked pot in the last year, 200 of whom probably have a dog. How do you expect the police to protect and serve if they can’t even defend themselves from pot smokers’ dogs?

  • cry4turtles

    I think sending in SWAT teams exacerbates most situations. They’re only useful for terrorists or meth labs, and maybe an occasional bankrobbery. Mostly they’re an abuse of power.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I think sending in SWAT teams exacerbates most situations.

    Hah! Tell that to the Pima County SWAT team. They expended hundreds of rounds on a visit to a house recently and then had to defend themselves from wild-eyed EMTs from the Tucson Fire Department.


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