A few months back, The Daily Beast took a look at trends in local policing. Trends that come at the behest of the national Department of Homeland Security. DHS is often willing to provide the money to move your local cops in a more militaristic direction:
Like Fargo (North Dakota), thousands of other local police departments nationwide have been amassing stockpiles of military-style equipment in the name of homeland security, aided by more than $34 billion in federal grants since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a Daily Beast investigation conducted by the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.
The buying spree has transformed local police departments into small, army-like forces, and places intimidating equipment into the hands of civilian officers. And that is raising questions about whether the strategy has gone too far, creating a culture and capability that jeopardizes public safety and civil rights while creating an expensive false sense of security.In light of the federally backed trend to turn U.S. domestic law enforcement into what might be described as a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded as the military, massive ammunition buys will probably be the norm, not the exception.
When you see armored personnel carriers rumbling down Main Street, or hear of massive ammunition stockpiles for 'homeland security,' don't be surprised. The trend was in play before Barack Obama became president. But now, as Mr. Obama promised, the trend moves beyond what's ever been imagined.
"And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." ~ Thomas Jefferson, 1816