How America’s Police Became an Army: The 1033 Program

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by poncho, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. poncho

    poncho
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    As many have noted, Ferguson, Missouri, currently looks like a war zone. And its police—kitted out with Marine-issue camouflage and military-grade body armor, toting short-barreled assault rifles, and rolling around in armored vehicles—are indistinguishable from soldiers.

    America has been quietly arming its police for battle since the early 1990s.

    Faced with a bloated military and what it perceived as a worsening drug crisis, the 101st Congress in 1990 enacted the National Defense Authorization Act. Section 1208 of the NDAA allowed the Secretary of Defense to “transfer to Federal and State agencies personal property of the Department of Defense, including small arms and ammunition, that the Secretary determines is— (A) suitable for use by such agencies in counter-drug activities; and (B) excess to the needs of the Department of Defense.” It was called the 1208 Program. In 1996, Congress replaced Section 1208 with Section 1033.

    Read More At: http://www.newsweek.com/how-americas-police-became-army-1033-program-264537

     
    #1 poncho, Aug 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2014
  2. Sapper Woody

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    I read the article you linked, Poncho. I will readily agree that the police are looking more and more militarized. Where you and I are different here is that I don't think that this is necessarily a bad thing. The police are facing a rising threat, and with a rising threat level, more protection is required.

    MRAPs are a bit much, imo. Kind of like swatting a mosquito with a bazooka. An MRAP is versatile, though. Although designed to provide standoff to an IED, as well as angles to divert the blast, it is also very resistant to small arms fire; nigh on impenetrable. So I can see it being used now as a small arms fire (SAF) resistant vehicle with added protection should the time come, instead of buying a SAF resistant vehicle then having to buy an MRAP later in case of a domestic terrorist threat.

    Now, the article mentioned grenade launchers. Are we talking something like a MK19 (mounted grenade firing machine gun) or more like an M203 attachment, or even an M32, which was designed for riot control? Those without military experience might not know that a fragmentation grenade, smoke grenade and CS grenades can all be fired from the same weapon. The grenades for all the above mentioned weapons are 40mm in size. Just because it's a grenade launcher does not necessarily mean fragmentation.

    As for "utility truck", I can't speak to that. That's a very broad term. But the vehicle pictured did not look like an MRAP to me. I would assume that it is one of the utility trucks mentioned, although I don't recognize it as a military vehicle. Personally, when I see utility truck, I think LMTV: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=LMTV. Here is a typical MRAP: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=MRAP. We used those in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    But basically it comes down to this: the police there in Ferguson are having molotov cocktails thrown at them. They're having bricks thrown at them. They're having people shoot at them. They need to be protected; especially in the light of the threats made against them.

    I am not defending them, however, in their use of the equipment. From the information I have now, it appears that they are misusing some of it, such as the gas canister shot at the media I mentioned in another thread. By all appearances, something is wrong there. But it's not the equipment that they have, it's the operators of said equipment.

    As long as the police are using the equipment within the boundaries of their positions, and not violating civilians rights (such as door to door searches for a suspect, or firing indiscriminately into a crowd), it's ok.

    TLDR; I agree that the police force is becoming more militarized. I disagree that it's automatically a bad thing.

    Edited to add some educational information: I looked up the Bearcat on Lencoarmor.com. It does indeed look exactly like the vehicle pictured. It is not technically an MRAP, however, and that Bearcat is not a military vehicle. It had to be acquisitioned through a civilian agency. An MRAP has a high base, allowing for standoff in case of an explosion. It also has a "V" shaped hull in order to deflect blasts. The Bearcat is designed as a personnel carrier, seating 10-12 "fully equipped officers". An MRAP will hold the driver, truck commander, gunner, and 1-3 others, although anyong but the three crew will be cramped.

    Second aside: I spent an estimated 750 hours in almost 100 missions in an MRAP in Iraq as a gunner, and over 2,000 hours in an MRAP on various missions ranging from 3-24 days as a truck commander in Afghanistan.
     
    #2 Sapper Woody, Aug 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2014
  3. Revmitchell

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    It is easy to see that the police are looking more militarized be we need to see that the criminals are just as and equally militarized.
     
  4. TCassidy

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    More garbage collectors were killed on the job last year than Peace Officers.

    The "officer safety" excuse is really wearing thin. When I wore the silver star it was "to protect and serve" the public, not "me first everybody else last."

    When I was still with the SO there were only a few hundred SWAT actions in the entire country in the entire year!

    Now it is 150 times a day! And most of it is to serve minor misdemeanor warrants that we used to serve by walking up to the front door, knocking, and saying, "Sorry Bob, but I have a warrant for your arrest. It would probably be a good idea to come in and get it taken care of."

    And never had a problem. I had one guy look around like he was trying to decide which way to run so I told me, "Sure, Bob, you can outrun me, but see my young partner here? He was a track star at Sweetwater High just a few years ago. Think you can outrun him?" He came along quietly. :)
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    Its not wearing thin at all. Making vague comparisons (unsupported by the way) between occupations does nothing to show the reality of the matter.
     
  6. ShagNappy

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    They can't get rid of the Posse Comitatus Act so they are just creating their own home grown military to do an end run around the law...
     
  7. Salty

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    You realize you are using common sense here ......
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    It is amazing how that can happen sometimes.
     
  9. Salty

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    and more amazing - how few people can realize it.
     
  10. ShagNappy

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    Never have I seen so many whine so much about the abuse of government power, the constant whining that the evil people are taking over the government, they are coming for our guns, our rights, our Bibles, going to force us to marry gays or throw us in jail, etc., etc., then are so completely blind and obtuse that they cannot comprehend, yet constantly defend, the very forces that will be used to accomplish the very thing they are so afraid of. Some of you people can't see the forest for the trees. Those of you who whine about the government taking your rights away from you, do you honestly believe Obama himself is going to knock on the door? Who do you think is coming to enforce these decisions?
     
  11. Bro. Curtis

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    :applause::applause::thumbs:
     
  12. Rolfe

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    Agree. To have Law Enforcement outgunned by the bad guys is bad. It is an arms race, not some wild conspiracy. The days of the revolvers of forty years ago is gone.
     
  13. righteousdude2

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    What was rather funny was the reaction of media ....

    .... at least here in my area, the media is talking about how the cops look like military, and that seems to have taken them by surprise.

    I agree, the bad guys are so wel armed, is it a surprise that our cps have been given the kind of equipment to do the job they may one day have to do? If you look at the police around the world, they are all looking more and more like soldiers.

    It is a sign of the times.....
     
  14. InTheLight

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    Apparently the second amendment only applies to citizens, not the police force. Is that it?
     
  15. Use of Time

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    :applause: Made my morning.
     
  16. poncho

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