For several years now, people have been posting pictures and articles representing the build up of military equipment with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. As I was a Police Officer for over 20 years, I have seen my share of strange and unusual things. This is not one of them. Albeit only my opinion/speculation, it is my belief that many of these vehicles and equipment items, are the government/military liquidating items that they are not using or need to replace. In several instances over the years, the agencies that I have worked for and other agencies that I have had friends working in, have been given the opportunity to acquire military style/grade equipment at auction or grants, at no cost or very low cost. Some for a $1 that would provide 2 or 3 helicopters that would still be operational or used for parts.
The military is currently liquidating equipment in Iraq, selling the equipment and vehicles for scrap metal because they claim that it is cheaper to sell it off then to transport it back to the U.S. The government provides many of these types of vehicles and related equipment that are going to be retired or scrapped, to local, county and state government agencies for their use instead of completely scrapping them and melting them down.
When I worked for Denver PD, they were given the opportunity to make a purchase of 3 Bell helicopters, one completely flight worthy, one that only needed some basic maintenance and another for parts. The only thing that the Department would have to do was provide storage, equip them with the radios and lights that they would want for operation and they were theirs. They decided against it and bought a new Bell for over a million dollars but that’s another story.
Many of these armored vehicles that local and state agencies are obtaining, are most likely used vehicles that the government is retiring. They provide an excellent protection for Officers involved in SWAT type of missions, being armored, very durable and able to operate for long duration without breakdown and capable of carrying multiple team members and their equipment.
Now I am not advocating that these are necessary items for these agencies. It is my belief that in many cases, especially small agencies, that is along the lines of, “the one with the most toys wins” philosophy or my truck is bigger than yours. There also is an intimidation factor that when you see these vehicles rolling up to a scene or driving down the street, people think twice about what they are doing. It also creates a conspiracy theorists dream, being able to create these questions and put it into the minds of the unknowing public to question the authority and what they are doing. It has worked.
Now, this does not explain every one of these situations but it does explain some. Why the feds are purchasing these vehicles that are IED resistant, armored to withstand heavy small arms fire and explosives, i cannot fully explain. I believe that much of it is government waste. They have to spend their budget by a specific date or have their budget reduced the next fiscal cycle. It is my opinion that many of these purchases are unnecessary and the funds could be spent on better equipment, training for their agents/officers.
We have seen in recent years, a rise in incidents that seem to show a force by the federal law enforcement agencies that has never been seen before. With the current administration and their willful disregard for the 2nd Amendment, they make it appear that they are building for civil unrest with an armed public. I don’t disagree with this thinking but I do not fully support it either. I do believe that if things continue as they are, we will have no choice but to fight back against the government and military. We have a Constitutional right to bear arms, be safe in our homes from the government’s intrusion and a God given right to live free. I hope that our citizens that are supporters of the Constitution, are smart enough to realize this and fight back in an intelligent and safe fashion, using force as an incredibly last resort.
Stay safe my brothers and sisters and be smart, don’t fall into the conspiracy theorists trap. We will have to adapt and change to the attacks the administration comes up with.