Militarization of Police

Connecticut Town Approves "Free" Military Vehicle For Cops That Will Cost $54,000 in Asset Forfeiture Funds to Modify, Because Police Say Mass Shootings Are Up


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As reader Timothy M. points out, the following story from The Hartford Courant has a lot to upset Reason readers. The Courant reports on a vote in Newington, Connecticut:

The town council has approved a bid waiver that will allow the police department to modify a mine- and ambush-proof military vehicle that they acquired from a government surplus program.

Police plan to send the six-wheeled BAE Caiman, which was designed to carry troops into combat in Afghanistan, to a specialized firm for $54,000 worth of modifications. Changes to the vehicle include removal of its firing ports and installation of running lights and a radio system. The council voted unanimously earlier this month to allow the work to proceed without bidding.

The town's police chief said he was pleased the vote was unanimous. He called the vehicle "free" despite the $54,000 price tag for (no-bid) modifications. That's going to be paid for through the asset forfeiture fund. Why does Newtington need this military vehicle? Mass shootings have been up, the chief says. Connecticut, home to some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, passed a new set of them this year, laws so draconian and unenforcably they were mostly ignored, leaving politicians shocked. Oh, and Connecticut is home to cops like this. And state's attorneys who protect bad cops like this. Oh, and a court in Connecticut recently ruled police can arrest you for being too physically close to someone being arrested.