Militarization of Police

Excuses for Police Militarization: 'You can't put a price tag on keeping someone safe'



Pocatello, Idaho is a quiet place. It's home to little more than 50,000 people and it's got low crime rates. The Pocatello Police Department seems to think it's much more dangerous, as they just purchased a behemoth of a war machine: a mine-resistant, ambush protected (MRAP) Caiman, which weighs about 15 tons.

Such vehicles were designed with asymmetrical combat against Iraqi insurgents with roadside bombs in mind, not patrolling sleepy towns. But, when the Iraq War wrapped up and the military learned that MRAPs were too top-heavy for the mountainous terrain in Afghanistan, they started shipping them back to American soil.

Police Chief Scott Marchand gave a peek into his fantasy with his new tool: "This is not just a SWAT ride. What we want to do is get everybody patrol-trained. So, In the middle of the night, 2 o'clock in the morning, you have somebody down, you have an officer down… anybody can get in and get there for the rescue."  

All a local police force has to do is pay for shipping. Hundreds of thousands of dollars new, the Pocatello PD got theirs for just $6,000.

And it's the price that they're focusing on. "You can't put a price tag on keeping someone safe," Master Patrol Officer Nick Edwards told KPVI News earlier this week. But then he kind of contradicted himself by noting that they opted not to get one when the price was higher. "The police department looked at possibly getting one of these back in 2007. You're looking at $300,000 to purchase an armored vehicle like this to protect guys. You can get this for next to nothing. It was very minimal to obtain a vehicle like this."


Either way, what Edwards means when he says "keeping someone safe" is "police officer." Whether they're being terrorized by a no-knock raid or actually losing their life in one, countless Americans in just about every state are not being kept safe by the militarization of America's police equipment and tactics.

But what the hey, why would someone expect cops care about bookish concepts like "militarization"? A Springfield, Illinois sheriff who just got to whip out his MRAP for the first time in a "standoff" with a man in a trailer dismissed questions about militarization say, "You know, militarization of local law enforcement is something politicians need to worry about, not at our level. We're worried about protection, safety and security of the people in the county."

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  1. I think it’s time for citizen militarization.

    1. I’m pretty sure that’s what the cops are actually worried about, and why they want this kind of hardware. If you’re not a cop, you’re the enemy, remember.

      1. The cops and higher. The lunatics at the wheel have just enough self-awareness to realize that when it all comes crashing down that the masses will comes for their blood. Continuity of Government is just that. Not continuity of America, not continuity of our way of life. The priority of all the grandiose plans and DHS money are those who deem themselves worthy of “continuity”. The rest of us will get herded into stadiums with no running water.

        1. Oh, totally. I guarantee that there are contingency plans and bunkers and stockpiles far beyond what we think there are. These people have our money to spend, and they’ll absolutely spend some of it on making sure they’re safe no matter what. Fuck the little people.

        2. when it all comes crashing down that the masses will comes for their blood.

          When it all comes crashing down, the police will stop getting paid long before some private industry workers stop getting paid.

          So it will be the police looking for blood. Just like today, but with an even higher sense of entitlement.

          1. More likely the police would become roaming gangs using their equipment to pillage and dominate the little people they were once sworn to protect.

            1. They’re doing this now.

  2. What kind of a name is Zenon, anyway?

    1. Let’s get one thing straight – I ask the questions around here.

      1. You do?

      2. Oh you do, do you?

      3. Zetus lupetus!

  3. Peak? Is that you, Lucy?


  4. Maybe you can’t put a price tag on someone’s safety. I’m pretty comfortable putting it at $2,058.31.

  5. Sounds like a pretty good plan to me dude. WOw.

  6. The Wannabe Warriors can’t play dress-up soldier if they don’t look the part, duh!

  7. We’re worried about protection, safety and security of the people in the county.

    Cop lingo is becoming increasingly militarized.

  8. I hope those dumb bastards die of carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty exhaust system.

    1. Ha-haw! Thanks for the laff as I call it a day, LPB.

  9. When the police are armed like the army then you will have a standing army which I thought was un-constitutional. I forgot the constitution is just some old rag that no one pays attention to anymore.
    Could anyone pleas tell me when was the last time the cops were hit by a road bomb.

    1. Yeah, dude, it’s like a hundred years old.

    2. They’ll be quartering the militarized police in our houses without our permission in peacetime. Might as well kick out #3 of the Bill of Rights, just to show us who’s boss.

  10. “In the middle of the night, 2 o’clock in the morning, you have somebody down, you have an officer down? anybody can get in and get there for the rescue.”

    Those things have a ‘top speed’ around 45-50 MPH; and that’s not what you recommend for driving the thing in the dark.

    Yeah dude, if I’m the ‘officer down’? I’m calling a cab instead of the SWAT-Tank

    1. This comment by the police struck me as inane. You’ve got a community of 50,000, in a rural state. You’re going to have this happen exactly how many times? That’s right, almost zero.

      1. And once they “get in…for the rescue” don’t they need to actually get out of the safety of their sorta-tank to actually get to their downed colleague?

  11. This is the sort of thing that gives paranoid fantasies about Obama more credence than I would like. Screw up the economy, attack traditional values, import as many poor minorities as possible, bus them around the country to places that don’t want them, arm small-town police with military weapons, and on and on.

    Is he intentionally trying to provoke paranoid fantasies? Does he long for some deranged white supremacist group to commit some splashy crime, so that he and Holder have an excuse to crack down on guns and “dangerous right-wing subversives” and tar everyone not on his side as “extremists”? I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but things keep happening that look less like incompetence and blind ideology and more like intention.

    1. Yeah. This stuff just feeds the feeling:…..97415.html

    2. Shit, he makes me paranoid.

      Earlier today, I read a quote by Nancy Pelosi (who linked the IRS scandal to Citizen’s United back in 2013, spilling the beans on the Dems true agenda) that compared immigrants to Moses in Egypt giving us the 10 commandments.

      This prompted an (admittedly) Alex-Jones-level insane train of thought noting that 1) the immigrants are the right demo for MS13 members, 2) they’ve been armed by the feds since 2009, per operation castaway, 3) they’re being placed inside of schools around the country, 4) dems are still pissed that they couldn’t get gun-grabbing legislation passed after sandy hook, and 5) moses didn’t give the egyptians ten commandments, he gave them ten plagues, wrapping it up by killing a shitload of their kids.

      So, basically, a stream of thought that led to a plot to import a foreign gang to commit nationwide massacres in high-schools as a pretext for martial law and gun confiscation. The fact that hearing it in my head sounds only mostly insane is testament to how fucked up shit is right now.

      1. I hadn’t thought of that angle. Do you have a newsletter I can subscribe to?

        I know, you think of things like that and then think: “Shit, things are so fucked up that it’s not an entirely absurd idea.”

  12. Next up – a carrier group for Lake Coeur D’Alene.

    1. There is already a naval training station on Lake Pend O’reille in northern Idaho. Submarines,and shit.

  13. It weighs FIFTEEN TONS!? What are the odds the the police chief’s brother-in-law owns a paving company with a contract with the city?

    1. Fifteen tons, and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.

    2. Fifteen tons means they can’t bring one to my house. All the possible routes cross bridges that have 12 ton max limits. And if they try cross country, they’ll find out that really heavy quasi tanks and swamps don’t mix.

  14. “You cannot put a price on the ability of our fine officers to bust into homes without a warrant over an unpaid parking ticket, shoot the dog, terrorize a family in the middle of the night, physically abuse them, charge them with resisting arrest, only to find out we were at the wrong address.”

  15. I tend to see police militarization as a positive in the SHTF scenario.

    The police have all the toys of real soldiers, but they’re just bullies at heart. They’ll fuck over a fat black guy or shoot a dog, but faced with a bona fide civilian insurgency, they’re going to drop those uniforms and bail faster than the Iraqi army. Then, all those toys are going to belong to the insurgency.

    Shit, the DoD hand-me-down program is probably the best thing the enemy has ever done for America.

  16. “Those things have a ‘top speed’ around 45-50 MPH; and that’s not what you recommend for driving the thing in the dark.”

    This. I’m among those who believe cops should chase real criminals on the loose. A gigantic, hulking, slow top-heave piece of roving weaponry is the LEAST effective tool for doing so.

    This really is just cops playing GI Joes, and it ads to the PR value of coordinated police raids, which are pretty much the least efficient means of real law enforcement this side of undercover cops in schools.

  17. So, can I go down to the local GovMart and get one of these Clunkers for $6,000 Cash?

    1. Peanuts compared to the operations/maintenance bill… This is the real boomerang with these things all over the country. They’ll either be unserviceable or they will have to fire at least one cop to pay for the upkeep and use.

  18. Pocatello is 52.09% Mormon. Mormons stockpile food. The cops will need vehicles like this in places like this if they are to prevail.

  19. I have this strange urge to start stockpiling gun, ammo and food suddenly. What gives?

  20. The cops just wanted to make the local combat a little more asymmetrical.

  21. Man, talk about a need to overcompensate for something or other…. I wonder what that might be?

  22. Do they have to pay extra for the dog-shooting portholes, or are they included at no additional cost?

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