Sunday, December 16, 2012

Small town America ain't what it used to be

Paragould, Arkansas has a population of about 26-thousand. The Paragould Daily Press reports the local police are introducing new anti-crime measures:
"[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck," (Police Chief Todd) Stovall said. "If you're out walking, we're going to stop you, ask why you're out walking, check for your ID." 
Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be. 
"We're going to do it to everybody," he said. "Criminals don't like being talked to."
Seriously? AR-15s may be appropriate for securing certain high risk targets, or for police dealing with some tactical situations. But to use them for regular street patrols, it's absurd for cops to have guns slung around their necks that fire rounds capable of penetrating walls of houses or apartments where innocent people inside are doing nothing more than peacefully carrying out normal lives.

The paper goes on to say the city's mayor has backed down on some of the show-your-papers rhetoric.

Even so, I find it hard to believe anyone in Paragould, Arkansas favors the kind of gunned-up police state presence the chief and the mayor seem to envision.

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