Federal grant spending, awarded with little oversight from Washington, has fueled a rapid, broad transformation of police operations in departments across the country. More than ever before, police rely on quasi-military tactics and equipment.
Currently the Law enforcement can already beat protesters with batons, spray subversive chemicals into their eyeballs, shoot rubber bullets at a speed of around 100 yards-per-second and blast deafening sound bursts. Many police, including beat cops, now routinely carry assault rifles.. The list of equipment bought with the federal grants reads as if you are reviewing a defense contractor catalog.
Convention showcases latest tactical gear
The giant showroom in Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center provided a vivid picture of how the nation’s law enforcement agencies are arming and armoring themselves. Chicago hosted the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in late October 2011. Some 800 exhibitors set up booths in 180,000 square feet of noisy space, many displaying military-style gear as thousands of police and other law enforcement professionals wandered the hall, police officials admired a jumbo armored vehicle in camouflage green emblazoned with the words, “Greater Salt Lake.”
The homeland security market for state and local agencies is projected to reach $19.2 billion by 2014, up from $15.8 billion in fiscal 2009, according to the Homeland Security Research Corp.
New opportunities are making major defense corporations more a part of our domestic lives. Lenco, manufacturer of the BearCat and other SWAT vehicles, has sold more than 300 of its trucks to law enforcement agencies around the country. It also markets vehicles to the Defense Department, some for use in fighting improvised explosive devices. The company does not disclose sales figures, but a spokesman said more have been sold since 9/11.
Title: Cops Ready for War: Local Police Stockpile High-tech, Combat-ready gear
Source: America’s War Within, December 11, 2012
Author: Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz, Center for Investigative Reporting 21
In Addition a YOU-Tube Clip: 2011 ct swat challenge mass state police
Student Researcher: Yessenia Mendez, Sonoma State University
Evaluator: Claudia E. Mendez, Napa Country Probation Case Manager