Target: Department of Homeland Security
Goal: Curtail the movement towards militarization of the U.S. police force
In a 2011 report, the Center for Investigative Reporting found that, “since 9/11, $34 billion in grants from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) were allocated to states to procure military-grade weapons and other security defenses.” These grants are used as part of an anti-terrorism campaign by the DHS. What is the difference between a policeman and a soldier? The dividing line is becoming more and more blurred as state policing institutions move further in the direction of militarization.
Two federal programs, the Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program and the Byrne grant program, were formed over the last two decades. Their goal was to provide resources to deal with policing strategy issues, but they have both become institutions used to create task forces, such as SWAT, and to acquire the materials deemed “necessary” for a task force. Essentially, these two programs have been utilized to train officers like soldiers, and equip them as such.
The Bush administration scaled these two programs down, mostly for ideological reasons, but they have been revitalized by the Obama administration. This is another move by the current president adding to the lists of his military-based advancements.
At present, the number of militarized domestic task forces is increasing while crime is decreasing. The allocation of resources towards militarization demands an explanation. While most of the country dwells in economic despair, billions of dollars are being funneled towards the unnecessary optimization of a fully operational institution. The ACLU launched an investigation into this issue a month ago. They are asking why, and we should all be doing the same. Sign this petition to call for the revocation of the billions of dollars currently being utilized to further militarize this nation.
Dear Department of Homeland Security,
The seeming movement towards the militarization of the police force is unnecessary and worrisome. Why, when crime is decreasing, do you feel the need to expand the police force?
We see no need for it and all it is doing is further distancing the sentiments of citizens in relation to the police force. Also, putting army-grade weapons in the hands of individuals who are operating domestically is overkill, and seems, to us citizens, like a movement towards a militant police state. It would be wise to stop this movement towards militancy before abuses become more rampant, and the nation moves further into the depths of an Orwellian state.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Police State Website