More excellent homeland-defending from the Department of Homeland Security:
As terrorist targets go, the small town of Ocean View has neither a large population nor an industry that's a potentially catastrophic target, such as a nuclear plant or chemical factory.
But no other jurisdiction in Delaware has worked the complex federal Homeland Security system for grants and gear as successfully as Ocean View.
"Our little elementary school is more of a target than the White House," says McLaughlin, an animated man who wears a white uniform shirt equipped with the kind of stars given to military generals. "We saw it in the Soviet Union. The Chechens took one. We can't let our guard down."
To "eliminate or isolate the threat," the chief says, Ocean View pursued $111,632 in tactical gear and other equipment from U.S. Homeland Security Department defense grants, about $100 per resident for a quiet town separated from Bethany Beach by the lazy water in Assawoman Canal.
Most of the gear, most of the time, collects dust.
Police in the tiny Sussex County town of Milton, less than 2,000 residents, got $25,000 to buy heavy-duty body armor, helmets and an $8,500 door-lock system that reads entrants' fingerprints. The even-smaller town of Ocean View, population 1,100, bought a $2,355 night-vision monocular. Clayton and Harrington got large SUVs for their chiefs to drive, a likely violation of Homeland Security guidelines.
McLaughlin issues take-home police cars to every officer, complete with an assault rifle, shotgun and tactical gear. Officers are not required to live within city limits. The department's bulletproof vests have ammo pouches to carry 30-round magazines for assault rifles, and hardened trauma plates – long sought by troops in Iraq – capable of stopping high-power rifle rounds, plus neck, groin and arm protection.
The entire article is pretty amazing.