At an initial cost of $1 million drawn from federal unemployment-system administration funds, the government of Indiana will hire armed security guards to patrol 36 of its unemployment offices.
Indianapolis-based WRTV reports:
No specific incidents prompted the action, Department of Workforce Development spokesman Marc Lotter told 6News' Norman Cox. Lotter said the agency is merely being cautious with the approach of an early-December deadline when thousands of Indiana residents could see their unemployment benefits end after exhausting the maximum 99 weeks provided through multiple federal extension periods "Given the upcoming expiration of the federal extensions and the increased stress on some of the unemployed, we thought added security would provide an extra level of protection for our employees and clients," he said.
Some offices have had guards for nearly two years but those guards were hired on a regional basis, meaning some offices had armed guards while others did not, Lotter said. "Given the upcoming expiration of the federal extensions and the increased stress on some of the unemployed, we thought added security would provide an extra level of protection for our employees and clients," he said.
The station's online poll shows 47 percent of readers agreeing with the decision and 43 percent disagreeing.
Hoosiers, please advise: Is there any green cash to be taken from an Indiana state unemployment office? It seems unlikely, but maybe there's a strongbox full of Jacksons to pay off stragglers?
Assuming the 36 branches that handle unemployment insurance (the DWD's WorkOne network seems to include about 90 branches in all), are not heist targets, Lotter seems to be saying "increased stress" may drive some chômeur to a terroristic or tantrum attack on an unemployment office.
I'm willing to posit that a 99er may be more likely to go postal than an average citizen. But the risk reduction from putting one $27,000 Paul Blart at each office seems marginal. And it's achieved through an extra indignity to "clients" whose self-esteem is not exactly peaking to begin with. If you're going to waste a million dollars, why not provide a course in ESL or job-interviewing, hire Tony Robbins to give a seminar, or do something else that makes it look like you're encouraging people rather than bullying them? It's disturbing but revealing that government's next move after welfare runs out is to use force.
Courtesy of Michael Snyder, who adds, "Unfortunately, as the U.S. economy goes downhill even further, the amount of security that people feel is 'necessary' is likely to go up even more."