The Militarization of America's Police Force
I came across an article on the Wall Street Journal's website that relates to a trend that I find to be deeply concerning: the militarization of America's Police Force. Before I go any further, I would like to express that I intend no disrespect toward our nation's police. They have a difficult and often terrifying job: To stand between criminals and law-abiding citizens. I was raised to believe that is an incredibly honorable thing to do.
Having said that, let's move on to what set me off within this article: no knock raids. In my opinion, no knock raids for nonviolent and consensual crimes are a blight on American civil liberties, and they erode the trust and confidence in that we place in the fine men and women serving as our nation's police. Moreover, while SWAT Teams can be an invaluable resource to draw upon, selecting, training, and equipping one to conduct operations in a safe and effective manner is obscenely expensive. It requires funding that most local governments just don't have. It also has a very limited mission, making it one of the least cost-effective resources available to state and local governments.
There are a number of parallels I can draw to this in the military as well, where Army commanders often return from war having seen the power and efficacy of Special Operations units that are trained and equipped to do a similar sort of thing against HVTs/HVIs, and decide they want that capability for themselves (or want to bring that capability with them as they transition out for Special Operations into the regular Army). Unfortunately, your average regular Army unit does not have the millions upon millions of dollars required to properly select, train, and equip even a platoon of Soldiers to do this mission (to say nothing of the authorities required to carry out such a mission), and you end up with something that is dangerous to itself and the people it operates around.
Bottom line: It's fine for everyone to get all up in arms about the government collecting and possibly storing for up to 5 years all those fan emails you like to send to your favorite porn stars, but maybe we should consider contacting our senators and representatives about this, too.
Bullshido LEOs: I would hope that you don't misinterpret my dislike of no knock raids as disrespect toward your profession. I am especially interested in LEO opinions on the subject, whether you agree with me or not.