In the video below, Dom Raso clarifies where he stands on the militarization of police, and responds to the criticism he faced over his opinion regarding shared training and resources between law enforcement and military.
I think Dom did a good job clarifying where he stands. One thing that Dom said that I think everyone who opposes police militarization needs to hear is this:
If you want to change things, don’t go after the rank and file guys on the street.
This is a sensitive subject for good reason, with reasonable, passionate arguments on BOTH sides of the fence, but to effect change, the conversation has to reach the correct audience. Taking your anger out on the guys working the streets will only make matters worse.
Personally, I think Robbie summed it up best when he said this: if the general public is prohibited from owning it, the police don’t need it either. Case in point, take this story out of Walton County, Florida from a couple days ago.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office got the mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle for the cost of transporting it. The vehicle, for which the department paid $2,500, was a surplus military vehicle that was demilitarized for law enforcement use.
Walton County Sheriff’s Office Mike Adkinson calls it “an insurance policy,” to help keep deputies safe in dangerous situations.
Here’s the the problem: Walton County, Florida has very low crime, and the people who live there know it. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Walton County, which has a population of almost 60k, had exactly zero murders in 2012. Tell me again why they need an MRAP?
I have an idea, how about we take our surplus military gear and put it to work protecting the border? There’s a humanitarian and law enforcement crisis going on right now on our southern border, and today we have news that a Mexican military helicopter fired on border patrol agents.
Where do you think surplus military gear would be most useful – in Walton County, Florida, or on the southern border?