YOUR NEW POLICE STATE  4:49 pm June 27, 2012

Small Town Police Departments Really Need Those Tanks, Okay?

by Kris E. Benson

Not an actual police officer.

What is REAL AMERICA up to these days, hm? How are REAL AMERICAN HEROES, like police officers, for example, weathering the economic chaos of the past half decade or so? Turns out they are weathering it with lots of fun toys like tanks and machine guns, thanks to a “program” that allows them to acquire military surplus equipment for the cost of shipment and maintenance. And if that equipment somehow gets sold to interested parties, well, this is just the glorious machinations of the Free Market™.

Via Wired:

In 2011 alone, more than 700,000 items were transferred to police departments for a total value of $500 million. This year, as of May 15, police departments already acquired almost $400 million worth of stuff. Last year’s record would have certainly been shattered if the Arizona Republic hadn’t revealed in early May that a local police department used the program to stockpile equipment – and then sold the gear to others, something that is strictly forbidden.…

Take the 50-officer police department in Oxford, Alabama, a town of 20,000 people. It has stockpiled around $3 million of equipment, ranging from M-16s and helmet-mounted infrared goggles to its own armored vehicle, a Puma. In Tupelo, Mississippi, home to 35,000, the local police acquired a helicopter for only $7,500 through the surplus program. The chopper, however, had to be upgraded for $100,000 and it now costs $20,000 a year in maintenance.

You would think that the US Government would have a limited appetite for arming a largely unsupervised and untrained rural police department with tanks, assault rifles, helicopters, and infrared goggles. But if you thought that, you’d be WRONG, HA! And anyway, the 50-officer police department of Oxford, Alabama, might really NEED those M-16s and that Puma! After all just a couple weeks ago a man robbed a bank! And a burglar broke into a pharmacy! What would YOU say if he broke into YOUR pharmacy or YOUR bank? Bet you would regret doubting the need for those tanks then, wouldn’t you, because however will they catch these people without an M-16 or a Puma tank?

In Lebanon, Tennessee, a town of less than 30,000 people, Mike Justice, the public safety coordinator, was so eager to accumulate military goods that he used to wake up at 3:00 a.m. so he was the first person logged in at the government’s first-come, first-serve online store. Thanks to his sleepless nights, since 2007, Lebanon has collected $4 million worth of stuff, including tanks, weapons and heavy equipment like bulldozers and truck loaders. Lebanon’s tank, an LAV 150, has been used only “five or six times,” according to Justice. Although it did help save a man who tried to commit suicide, spotting him with the tank’s infrared camera.

A job well done, indeed, due to Mike Justice being such a go-getter and all. Also, Lebanon, Tennessee, has a SWAT team but you can’t learn anything about it because the link is broken. Same with the link to their special response team. But nothing to worry about, surely it’s all above board and they really NEEDED the tanks! Have you ever lived in a town of 30,000 people? It’s REAL AMERICA and it’s ROUGH.

[Wired]

 
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{ 213 comments }

HogeyeGrex June 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm

None of this stuff would ever be used to impinge on our civil rights or anything.

What could possibly go wrong?

CrunchyKnee June 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Only people with something to hide need civil rights, right?

TribecaMike June 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm

When the revolution arrives, most of this stuff will be too rusty to use.

James Michael Curley June 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm

There's a revolution coming? CC me on that stat.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm

What, indeed.

Chill_Bill June 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm

This makes sense; they need a tank, cause that's where the economy is.

mavenmaven June 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

They're just stockpiling the tanks and heavy artillery for potential emergency use- like if Obama is reelected.

emmelemm June 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I almost laughed… but then I started to cry instead.

Spurning Beer June 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I romneyed myself.

emmelemm June 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I'm not certain what that means… but it sounds lewd.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Spurning, that's redundant. To "romney" = to shit oneself in terror, i.e., you romneyed.

Spurning Beer June 29, 2012 at 8:25 am

I'm so embarrassed. I am going to go masturbate myself.

prommie June 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Well what the fuck are they gonna look like at the SWAT team competition, if they don't have an armored personnel carrier at least! Come on, people, there could be trouble with those hooligans at the kindergarten, the cops are gonna need armor and large-caliber weapons.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm

You just don't know how dangerous those unarmed five-year-olds can be till you've encountered one.

mayor_quimby June 27, 2012 at 10:01 pm

They're really low to the ground, bouncing Betty mines usually miss them. You gotta just run them over with an APC.

johnnyzhivago June 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Rocket propelled grenades sound like a great thing to use to stop people from texting while driving.

BigSkullF*ckingDog June 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Death means 0% recidivism.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Can you imagine how effective they would be on naked elderly ladies suffering from dementia?

LionHeartSoyDog June 27, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Or voting.

SorosBot June 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm

"Mike Justice, the public safety coordinator,"

I can't believe that's his birth name.

prommie June 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm

No kidding here at all, not a bit, but I spoke with a man today whose name was "Richard Shaft."

SorosBot June 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Was he a bad mother-shut you mouth?

Callyson June 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm

He's a complicated man
But no one understands him but his woman

Tyrannically_Joe June 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I work with a Dr. Fury. Which is also pretty awesome, I keep on pretending that he moonlights as a supervillain/antihero.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Cool. I met a girl named Seven yesterday.

LionHeartSoyDog June 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Did you ask her why she doesn't capitalize her surname?

SorosBot June 27, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Wait, was she a boy who was adopted by Al and Peg Bundy for about a year who then vanished to never be spoken of again? Or was she a Borg who used to be married to the man who ran against Obama for the Illinois Senate seat back in 2004?

Negropolis June 27, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Seven of Nine?

Resistence really is futile. If giving up to her is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

natoslug June 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm

One of my drill sergeants in basic was named Richard Faas (yes, pronounced "face"). He was much too angry a man for any of us to call him Dick.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm

You'd be angry too if your parents had named you like his did.

natoslug June 27, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I guess I was lucky then. My parents never quite got around to naming me.

starfanglednut June 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Do they call him Dick? Cause that would be too funny for words.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm

PLEASE tell me he is NOT a Blah person. PLEASE.

prommie June 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm

He probably changed it from "Mike Hunt."

BoatOfVelociraptors June 28, 2012 at 8:04 am

I went to high school with a Mike from the Hunt family. He was on the football team. There was also a guy named Randy. Small towns are f-d up.

Seriously, my name was chosen by the next character named on the TV that was playing in the waiting room.

Baconzgood June 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm

If I had a name like that Id have that "Police Squad. In color" voice over dude follow me everywhere. "Mike Justice: Checking out his groceries". "Mike Justice: Paying his gas bill". "Mike Justice: Cooling a soft boiled egg"

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Nobody named Mike Justice would ever be caught on camera cooling a soft boiled egg, Baconz.

James Michael Curley June 27, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Just swallow it whole. Which would be novel if you have ever seen a bar show in Bangkok.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Dude! When were you in Bangkok last?

BoatOfVelociraptors June 28, 2012 at 8:08 am

But his brother Richard might.

Tyrannically_Joe June 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm

SRSLY. The only thing that could make this story better is if he were such a buff that he had his name legally changed.

Tundra Grifter June 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Over on Amazon, the reviews of "The Amateur" by Edward Klein (a festival of right wing nutism, by the way) include one by Philip H. Ness ("Real Name").

What parent on God's Green Earth would name a son "P. Ness?"

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm

TG, the same kind of parent who would give their son a name like "Richard Shaft."

Tundra Grifter June 27, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Or Richard Hurtz.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm

They've GOTTA be either really clueless or really mean, I'm thinkin'.

starfanglednut June 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Someone who wanted him to succeed on wonkette?

mayor_quimby June 27, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Fake it until you make it, baby.

EloquentScience June 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Definitely sounds like the story line of a Dukes of Hazzard episode. Let's see how Boss Hogg gets out of this one!

PubOption June 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I remember that Lt. Hunter acquired a tank in one episode of 'Hill Street Blues', and it was later stolen from the police.

Chet Kincaid June 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm

These kids don't remember nothin' before "Law & Order."

mayor_quimby June 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Hill street blues was on past my bedtime, it wasn't my fault.

Tundra Grifter June 27, 2012 at 6:19 pm

I'd rather get into Daisy Dukes' Daisy Dukes.

bumfug June 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm

"We had to destroy our town in order to save it".

Baconzgood June 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Stupid liburls, you need State Police for your Police State.

Come here a minute June 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm

A fighter jet would be a great way to catch red-light runners, if your town was big enough for a traffic light.

Beowoof June 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Don't worry they are already supplying drones. for that.

Tundra Grifter June 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Back it up to the intersection and just fry 'em as they whiz by.

SorosBot June 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Who are these small-town police departments staffed by – Officers Mahoney, Hightower, Jones, Sweetchuck, Hooks, Lassard, Tackleberry, Harris, Proctor and Callahan?

Fare la Volpe June 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm

McMillan and Wife, also.

Tundra Grifter June 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Definately not Coffin Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones. Matlock maybe. Rockford, not so much.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Man, I love those Chester Himes books, dude. Love 'em.

FakaktaSouth June 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Tanks in Oxford would be right on time. I bet they wouldn't use them like I would – rolling over trailers and firebombing the WalMart, but man, me and that puma could have a grand old time if they'd just give us a second. Nobody never lets me do nothing MY way around here though. Fuckers.

SorosBot June 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I'd go over and crush every car that parks on the sidewalk. Better than those fuckers deserve.

FakaktaSouth June 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm

What the fuck is a sidewalk? We have scooter paths and cars are parked on blocks in the yard like God intended, thanks.

SorosBot June 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm

According to way too many idiots in South Philly, it's either a place to put your car if you can't find a parking space or a path for riding you bicycle.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Oh, that's NOT what they're for? Darn, Soros, you sure know how to harsh a person's mellow.

Chet Kincaid June 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Wow, that's fucked up. Doesn't happen in Chicago.

Negropolis June 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Well, if Philly had streets wider than an alley, people might use the sidewalks for what they are meant for. I've seen Parking Wars.

HogeyeGrex June 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Mayor! How nice to see you post here.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Oh, now, whoa, whoa, whoa, there, SB! Some of us might live in or around big cities with horrendous parking.

Blueb4sunrise June 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I'll bet there's some old sheriff in a home somewhere down there there wishing they'd had these sumbitches during the Freedom Rides.

HistoriCat June 27, 2012 at 7:38 pm

All of them Katie.

lisawines June 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm

"firebombing the WalMart" – that gave me an involuntary thrill.

Chet Kincaid June 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Better use that "Fast & Furious" coupon before it expires!

lisawines June 27, 2012 at 9:12 pm

OK. I'll be fast and I'm pretty sure I can be furious.

BoatOfVelociraptors June 28, 2012 at 8:10 am

But enough about that. How do you feel about walmart?

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Srsly. Soon as I'm appointed God you get a dozen tanks and you get to do whatever you want with them, immunity guaranteed.

FakaktaSouth June 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm

If'n you were God baby, I wouldn't even need no tanks, I just got a smitin' list as long as Dennis Rodman's dick (yes, welcome back to 1995, and no, I never got over that Playboy spread) and I'm just getting started!!!!

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Promise me Barack, Michelle and their kids never get on the list, and I'll smite the lot of them with one swell foop.

FakaktaSouth June 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I can promise you my beloved first family would be half the reason I'd wanna smite some bitches. Not a problem. MICHEEEEEEELLLLEEEE, she is my hero.

Chet Kincaid June 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm

See what I mean!? I wouldn't trust you and/or prommie around a Trans Am convertible with a couple of assault rifles in the back seat!

FakaktaSouth June 27, 2012 at 7:20 pm

oooooh a convertible trans am, me and prom and a shit ton of ammo…I wonder how much of a couch we could get in one of them thangs? keep the idears flowing – the revolution's coming and you're gonna wanna front row seat, I promise you.

Chet Kincaid June 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm

If you guys line this up right, you can get Maybelline, Pontiac and Cabela's to sponsor the whole thing! (You gotta look hot on the wanted posters…)

FakaktaSouth June 27, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Shit, we would look goooooood – like Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, 2012 style. excellent…

Negropolis June 27, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Firebombing the WalMart (with votes, of course)? Elitist! What, Piggly Wiggly ain't good enough for you? **snort**

BigSkullF*ckingDog June 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Yee Haw! PEW! PEW! PEW!
Take that ya nigra! I mean criminal!

Tundra Grifter June 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm

During the Spanish American War, Fighting Joe Wheeler (the only Confederate General to re-enlist in the US Army and rise back up to General) was at the Battle of San Juan Hill.

"We've got the Yankees on the run!" he yelled.

"Damnit, I mean the Spaniards."

Blueb4sunrise June 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Hey, we're gonna need all that stuff for when the liberal local law enforcement joins the DFH's in the revolution!

BigSkullF*ckingDog June 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Maybe Detroit can get some flame throwers in order to more effectively burn down.

Not_So_Much June 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm

There's around 50K people in my mostly Mormon 'burg. If the po-leese don't get them some shoulder-mounted missiles soon, it's pretty obvious that all Heck is going to break loose.

Biff June 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I live in the 3rd largest county in the lower 48, but with a population of only around 40,000, we don't have much use for a helicopter. We leave that shit to the BLM, for their aerial wild mustang murdering.

barto June 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Well if your town was named "Lebanon" you'd be gearing up, too, wouldn't you?

Also, I can think of nothing more likely to have a positive outcome than rushing towards a suicide victim in a tank, can you? What could possibly go wrong?

edgydrifter June 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Barney Fife feels very cheated.

grace_nearing June 27, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Barney dallied with military surplus too, buying a motorcycle and promptly terrorizing the Mayberry citizenry. Got so bad Aunt Bee threatened to string piano wire across the roadways.

Isyaignert June 28, 2012 at 12:55 am

Dusty Gun and Rusty Knife Fife.

mrpuma2u June 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Puma tanks are a crucial part of the war on drugs. They have the latest bong burble detecting microphone technology. They look cool as all shee-it, too.

Estproph June 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm

How can they expect to stop jaywalkers without nuclear weapons?

Chow Yun Flat June 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm

No drones? No tracked vehicles? No artillery?

Clearly the fine police forces of the rural hinterlands are being shortchanged.

Callyson June 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Small towns? Hell, my freaking *alma mater* wants in on the action:

University Of California Police Seeking Funding For Armored Vehicle, Despite Opposition

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/21/uc-berke

For fucks sake…

BigSkullF*ckingDog June 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Well, the pepper spray didn't work at Davis. They gotta do something.

Tundra Grifter June 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Your move, Kent State.

BerkeleyBear June 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm

The problem is, the tripped out druggies on Telegraph won't move even as that thing is about to crush them. Not because of any protest, but because the unicorn they have been chasing in their minds for years is about to grant them a wish, but only if they stand still.

I can't think of any event that thing would actually be beneficial for – you need a lot more than one to disperse a major riot, and using it on a small drum circle or fraternity party is one good way to ensure there is a major riot.

SayItWithWookies June 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Ahh — heavy weaponry dispersed among small police units without the ability to properly guard them — what could possibly go wrong?

BoatOfVelociraptors June 28, 2012 at 8:23 am

We have the option of learning from Iraq.

Biff June 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm

WKRP in Cincinnati had a helicopter gap between themselves and WPIG…

Baconzgood June 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm

WKRP was pinko. Johnny did drugs, Venus was black, and Les drove a Vespa. They couldn't compete with WPIG anymore than Air America could compete with Clear Channel.

Biff June 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm

But Jan Smithers, so win.

Tundra Grifter June 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Remember the Thanksgiving promotion where they tossed live turkeys out of an airplane?

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Les? Les? Les, are you there? Les isn't there. Thanks for that on-the-spot report, Les. For those of you who've just tuned in, the Pinedale Shopping Mall has just been bombed with live turkeys. Film at eleven.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Sometimes late at night when I've watched too many bad movies, smoked too much fine Californian, and downed too many glasses of wine, I have nightmares that sound exactly like this.

Biff June 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm

As god is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly…

Tundra Grifter June 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm

They're hitting the pavement like sacks of wet cement!

The horror! Oh, the horror!

James Michael Curley June 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm

One of my high school buddies did a traffic helicopter war on his first gig at WJCU in Cleveland in 1970 or 1971. I had sent him a tape several of my buddies did in Vietnam since we always dreaded and almost hoped the VC would get copters so we did this helicopter dog fight. I still have a copy of the tape rotting away in the garage in a box of cassette tapes I did in Vietnam. I have no desire to listen to them and remind and terrify myself of what I was reporting on or, more likely, learn how vapid and puerile the results were from my "Angry Young Man" days.

Crank_Tango June 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm

I can't believe we are giving union thugs all this hardware.

Tundra Grifter June 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I was just reading a biography of Dashiell Hammett. During the early 20th century the largest American private purchaser of Thompson submachine guns was the Pinkerton Detective Agency. To arm their strikebreakers.

Crank_Tango June 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I fucking love Dashiell Hammett! I was just living in the SF TL, just a couple blocks down the hill from where he wrote the Maltese Falcon and set Sam Spade's office!

Wait, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, Pinkertons were dicks, huh?

Tundra Grifter June 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I have a relative who loves the Hard Case Crime series, so I sent him the collected "Continental Op" stories. Along with "The Glass Key." I re-read them before I sent him, and the language in the Op stories is extraordinary!

As it is in "The Big Knockover." Just the names and bios of the crooks gunned down makes that one worth while!

Negropolis June 27, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Yeah, but these are the good type of union thugs 'cause they beat up minorities.

Hera Sent Me June 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm

The Obama administration is upgrading the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile. Sounds like a good opportunity for small town police forces to acquire first strike capability at bargain basement prices.

Who needs squad cars when you have a gently used Trident II missile ready to launch?

Blueb4sunrise June 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I long for the day when my grav is used to headline a post.

ManchuCandidate June 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm

It used to be that civic pride meant local politicians spread local taxpayers assholes for getting reamed by professional sports teams, major chains, Wal-de-mort, etc. Now it's all about which local municipality has the most firepower based on some fantasy that Diehard or Jericho could happen to Buttfucknowhere'sville.

Negropolis June 27, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Remember when "civic pride" meant building a kick-ass city hall that looked like a palace, or building swimming pools in poor neighborhoods? I sure don't. That was way before the time of this Reagan baby. The only world I've ever known is a world where "taxes" meant "sin."

Lionel[redacted]Esq June 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I'm proud to live in a country where most small town police forces could take over Belgium.

qwerty42 June 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm

So … are all these local police forces going to set up panzer units or what? Is this to take on local militia units or teh Acornz or "deranged Marijhuana users".

JackObin June 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Just think what this diseased nation could do with all the excess lard hanging of it's "citizenry". Rubber bullets, perhaps?

coolhandnuke June 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Tallow points.

ElPinche June 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm

I bet Alex Jones is shitting in his size 52W dockers right now.

coolhandnuke June 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm

When the ATF agents start stockpiling the booze and smokes that's when I know things are about to turn real shitty.

Biff June 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Where do I go to sign up for a surplus suitcase nuke?

Baconzgood June 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm

the former Soviet Union?

OneDollarJuana June 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm

The revolution is going to be ugly when it comes. But our local police are going to find out just how hard it is to fight "insurgents" (i.e. us), just as our forces overseas have found out.

Fairtackle June 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm

When tanks are outlawed, only outlaws will have tanks.

PubOption June 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm

No comment from Sheriff Roscoe?

Fare la Volpe June 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Those free choppers ain't gonna buy themselves!

Naked_Bunny June 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Them Duke boys have explosive arrows and a car that can jump over rivers. Sheriff Coltrane needs a tank and some rocket-propelled grenades.

BoatOfVelociraptors June 28, 2012 at 8:27 am

A cheaper solution would be to install windows on the general.

Yeeeehaw! *THUNK*

Hammiepants June 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm

It's pretty blatant when that distinguished organ of the Fourth Estate, "The Arizona Republic", is going all Mike Wallace on your ass.

Baconzgood June 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm

this is why the south and west shouldn't be allowed to have nice things…like states rights.

Chichikovovich June 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Or Senators.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Hey! HEY!

Rotundo_ June 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I love the bit about reselling it for a profit: They now can have revenue streams from writing tickets, selling military surplus, seizing stuff in drug raids (even if the stuff isn't even peripherally involved) and who knows what all else. The local constables can set themselves up pretty nicely financially wise with a minimum amount of work. Law enforcement can become quite the little revenue generator in the right hands. If you need any more evidence that we are becoming a bananna republic on a grand scale wait for a couple years of Republican rule and see how much further down the slippery slope we slide.

CleverSobriquet June 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Fast and Furious Mayberry RFD

Beowoof June 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm

The scary part is that there is no rational liberal Andy Taylor as sheriff. There are a bunch of fuck head Rambo wannabes.

Blueb4sunrise June 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm

[pssst, they're storing that stuff in Meckseeko.....mum's the word]

coolhandnuke June 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Now the wall makes sense.
"Tear down that wall" Mr Calderon.

Comrade Wingtardd June 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm

A very large Homeland Security grant caused these shenanigans in New Orleans

Beowoof June 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Chocolate Thunder in the Big Easy.

Chichikovovich June 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm

In 2011 alone, more than 700,000 items were transferred to police departments for a total value of $500 million. This year, as of May 15, police departments already acquired almost $400 million worth of stuff.

Nearly a billion dollars worth of hitech, very deadly armaments just shucked off like a bag of bell-bottoms donated to a thrift store, in less than 1 1/2 years. And the rate of discarding is increasing rather than decreasing.

But the reason for the deficit is some guy in Brooklyn who was getting food stamps under three different aliases, Fox tells us.

PubOption June 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm

And for every surplus tank the army sells, congress gives them two new ones.

fuflans June 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm

i think you forgot "bell bottoms and an ancient sixteen stone cd without jewel case'.

ph7 June 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm

The South is re-arming for Civil War II.

johnnyzhivago June 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm

This time let them go!

Chet Kincaid June 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm

They better not mess with the Black Belt, unless they want an insurgency up their asses.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Belt_(U.S._reg

GeneralLerong June 27, 2012 at 9:47 pm

With second-hand cast-off armaments they haven't the chops to maintain or repair. Let's hope the ammo is out of date, too.
Heh.
Heheheh.
HehehehehehBuWAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA.

I'm feeling much better now, Dave.

Baconzgood June 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm

"Ya gotta nip it in the buuuud Andy…Now *sniff and pull up pants* where are the keys to that M1A1? *slapping belly* I'm gonna teach this drunk a lesson or two"

(Scene from "Mayberry 2013")

extreme_left June 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm

You can fit a lot of donuts in a APC.

Naked_Bunny June 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Thank goodness we have the right to own handguns and hunting rifles to protect ourselves from the government!

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm

If we all get our pistols out, maybe we'll be able to take down those APCs.

Swampgas_Man June 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I shit you not, at least three letters to my local fishwrap today concerned the Importance of the Second Amendment, and how it will Defend Our Freedumbs From the Big Bad Obama Tyranny!1!! The locals have their high-caliber security blankets, and the Feds have considerably bigger ones.

MilwaukeeKent June 27, 2012 at 11:15 pm

That's why I call the 2nd Amendment "quaint". In their fevered dreams of Ruby Ridge-type standoffs, not sure what they'd do when the first drone comes over the ridge-line, but "shit their pants" is a good guess.

Beowoof June 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Cooter and Bubba are going to be looking for any of you liberal Yankee fucks driving through their neck of the woods.

poorgradstudent June 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Well we'd all like to know if you happen to have another idea where the warlords of future America are supposed to get their weapons.

Guppy June 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Although it did help save a man who tried to commit suicide, spotting him with the tank’s infrared camera.

Now if only the municipalities had access to government-surplus social workers, so that something might have been done beyond just postponing the next attempt.

Tyrannically_Joe June 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm
Dashboard Buddha June 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Made in Germany – Your go-to provider of armored vehicles.

Remember: When you absolutely, positively need to destroy civil rights overnight. PUMA!

natoslug June 27, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I feel so cheated. My local police force no longer exists, so we keep wasting money on the new library when we could be getting all the cool toys. I bet the crows over at the dumpster behind the market wouldn't shit on my truck so often if we had a police force properly outfitted with rocket launchers. If we had police, maybe we could get one of them fancy traffic lights. And a second road through town.

BlueStateLibel June 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Glad to see the cops will finally have the fire and tank power to break up those little brats always congregating at the Quickie Mart on Rt. 36.

GeorgiaBurning June 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm

How many cops get laid off so that the PD can afford to maintain the copters and tanks?

Naked_Bunny June 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Who cares. They look awesome in the July 4 parade. Much cooler than a fire truck.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm

All of them, Katie?

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I'm SO glad I live in an area where we have police review boards and at least *some* meagre semblance of citizen control.

chascates June 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Just as long as thecops have the drones to spy on us Blackwater Xe can take care of the real fighting. Of the American civilian population.

Biff June 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Blackwater Xe Academi…

Monsieur_Grumpe June 27, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Any used jet packs?

BaldarTCrabass June 27, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Shit, that stuff is just gonna sit there and rust. I'm more worried that they'll be buying used waterboards and testicle electrodes.

HistoriCat June 27, 2012 at 7:57 pm

That falls under "miscellaneous" or possibly "accessories" …

James Michael Curley June 27, 2012 at 8:15 pm

As a result of the Bush policies none of things were 'surplus'.

Chet Kincaid June 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm

"Falling Skies", man!! How else are we gonna fight off the Skitters and Mechs?!

chascates June 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm

The worst news is that there really isn't any law officers like Deputy Fife or Sheriff Roscoe any more. Whether former military or not most have been trained to use highly lethal weaponry and are naturally suspicious of anyone they have to deal with. Even in a village with a single officer he/she is equipped with sidearm, taser, pepper spray, shotgun, and a rifle in the trunk. And the aforementioned items (except long guns) are on their belt as well as a light, handcuffs, plastic gloves, extra clips–heavy as hell.
As long as you're white, dressed nicely, without unusual hair, tattoos, piercings, etc. and are polite, move slowly, and act afraid you probably don't have anything to worry about.

Nostrildamus June 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Meh, I bet this stuff totally pales compared to Neilist's arsenal.

Chet Kincaid June 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm

DO NOT COMPLETE THAT INCANTATION!!

James Michael Curley June 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Or read that barcode.

Dashboard Buddha June 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm

neilist…Neilist…NEILIST!!!

PubOption June 27, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I think Joe (Pink Panties) Arpiao used a tank to smash into a suspected cockfight, and flattened most of the birds in the process. More army surplus equipment?

MilwaukeeKent June 27, 2012 at 11:35 pm

There's a screen-play if it isn't already.

BarackMyWorld June 27, 2012 at 9:16 pm

This is like the ATF's "Operation Fast and Furious," except its neither fast nor furious. Its "Operation Slow and Silly."

BZ1 June 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Arizona Republic, isn't that the name of the state?

fuflans June 27, 2012 at 9:53 pm

hahhahahahaha stupid crackers. mayor rahm intimidates with the sheer force of nine fingers and ballet.

MosesInvests June 27, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I bet those small-town cops have a WONDERFUL time with those tanks. For those who don't know, tanks are noisy, smelly (motor oil, hydraulic fluid, cordite and sweat), cramped (hard to get those donut-stuffed bellies in) and, being large pieces of metal, are ovens in the summer and freezers in the winter. Fun times (ex tank crewman, here).

M. Bouffant June 28, 2012 at 12:33 am

Nope:

The Nebraska State Patrol has three amphibious eight-wheeled tanks. Acquired almost three years ago, their highest achievement has been helping with a flood last year and with a shooting a couple of weeks ago. Overall, it has been deployed five times. At least, officers love driving them. “They’re fun,” said trooper Art Frerichs to the Lincoln Journal Star in 2010. And the ride, according to Patrol Sgt. Loveless, “is very smooth.”

DerrickWildcat June 27, 2012 at 10:48 pm

I wish I had a Tank to play with.

Negropolis June 27, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Lebanon’s tank, an LAV 150, has been used only “five or six times,” according to Justice. Although it did help save a man who tried to commit suicide, spotting him with the tank’s infrared camera.

I know I can't be the only one laughing uncontrollably at this.

MilwaukeeKent June 27, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Say, uh, can anybody bid on that stuff? Think they'd have any surplus Space Shuttles on that GOVeBay?
I'm just asking for a friend…

Negropolis June 27, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Okay, Detroit is literally burning to the ground, besieged by violent crime, and can't keep the lights on, but for the low price of shipping & handling, they too can own their own tank! Too bad there won't be enough officers around to man it.

M. Bouffant June 28, 2012 at 12:36 am

A little something I typed earlier today, 'cause I was too lazy to do it yesterday:

Rational beings might wonder where the OUTRAGE is when the U.S. government arms dangerous criminaldrug gangs"police forces" in these United Snakes, as documented at Danger Room. Arming these pin-dicked compensating murderers not just w/ semi-auto rifles, either, but infantry fighting vehicles & the like.

Terry June 28, 2012 at 7:57 am

Back in the late 60's, my father's VFW post owned a fully operational tank. I believe it was from WW2, but might have been Korea. They'd drive it in parades with majorettes (including myself) marching either in front or behind it. We preferred to march behind it. Why? Because the guys who would drive the tank drank beer before, during, and after each parade. The tank sometimes had problems holding a straight line down the middle of the road. This drunk tank driving concerned the State Police a wee bit. Several towns also complained that the tank tore up their road surfaces when it rolled down a parade route. So, the State insisted that the tank be taken out of service. State Police officers insisted on being present when the tank was bolted into place on a cement slab in front of the VFW hall, the engine was disabled, and cement was poured into the big gun. Several people still insist that the State Police were sort of spoil sports about the whole thing. I, on the other hand, learned a life lesson. Never march in front of something that can squish you, especially when it's driven by a couple of drunks.

ttommyunger June 28, 2012 at 8:37 am

Sadly, this is nothing new. My first job in Law Enforcement (when discharged from the Army, 1962), we had a surplus armored car. I walked by it every day for five years, never saw it move or heard its engine. Boys like toys. Some boys grow up to be career cops (but not really).

outragedcitizen June 28, 2012 at 8:59 am

Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi… Hummmm… We've known for a long time that the US government has a bad habit of arming a lot of countries that eventually use those arms on our own soldiers, (I'm looking at you Afghanistan and Iraq), but it looks to me like we are helping to rebuild the Confederate Army. I think the South is getting ready to rise again.

ChapterUndVerse June 28, 2012 at 9:25 pm

The South will rise again!

larrykat June 28, 2012 at 11:20 am

I know some cops. Many of them are like overgrown kids playing "army". LCD guys. Sort of scary what the PDs around here will take… but they're all "HEROES"!

Quayle2012_KNOT June 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Shore could use a few Claymores. It do get tirin' puttin' the 'Gansett down and havin' ta shout…."Get OFF my lawn!"

ChapterUndVerse June 28, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Mike Justice, keeping the peace the only way he can.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm

I was too busy leaning over her desk and making sheep's eyes at her. Her dad's Egyptian and her mother's Brazilian. Woof!

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm

In that case, consider them smote forthwith. Anybody who disses Michelle goes straight to the seventh layer of hell with Special Attention from Biely. Stabby, burny guy, Biely.

LionHeartSoyDog June 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm

"Seven's got cachet."

starfanglednut June 27, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Did you wish you could eight her?

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Oh, baby! She was a double spoonful. Cute as hell! Baby had serious back, too. A butt you could hold on to with both hands. Big beautiful brown eyes. Multiple piercings and tats, which normally leave me cold on most people but she wore them so well.

Not one of them skinny kind girls, but a real MMMM, someone to hold on to.

MittBorg June 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm

I'll bet Dick Faas more than made up for any of their deficiencies in that regard.

mayor_quimby June 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I used to work with a similarly gorgeous and Egyptian girl.. Last name – Fuchs.
Why, yes, I would like to, thank you.

Tyrannically_Joe June 28, 2012 at 8:21 am

Or the sister of the TV best friend of that breastfeeding lady?

MittBorg June 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Yeah, yeah, I had a thousand "Seven of Nine" jokes on the tip of my tongue, which was paralyzed from checking out her cuteitude. Little tiny thing, round and curvy, and looking like a chocolate sundae. Oh, and a million tiny braids which you just KNOW when she loosed that hair it was going to be a magic CLOUD of sexxxay.

lisawines June 28, 2012 at 8:37 am

I love it like Napalm in the morning.

MittBorg June 28, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I was ready to lie right down and take my medicine like a man.

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