Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gung-ho!, part II

The CHI article lists colleges' participation in the program.
IVC and Saddleback are well represented. Note "mine resistant vehicle" for SC.
The last column is for "quantity"
From today's Chronicle of Higher Education:
On Campus, Grenade Launchers, M-16s, and Armored Vehicles

     …At least 117 colleges have acquired equipment from the department [of defense] through a federal program, known as the 1033 program, that transfers military surplus to law-enforcement agencies across the country, according to records The Chronicle received after filing Freedom of Information requests with state governments….
. . .
     But on campus and off, there are detractors. Some argue that the procurement of tactical gear doesn’t help with the types of crimes that occur more frequently on college campuses, like alcohol-related incidents and sexual assault. Others worry that military equipment is an especially poor fit for college campuses, fearing that it may have a chilling effect on free expression.
     The 1033 program has received heightened scrutiny in the wake of protests in Ferguson, Mo. After the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, reporters and phone-wielding protesters captured images of police officers armed with military-grade guns, camouflage, and armored vehicles. Observers characterized the police response as heavy-handed and criticized officers for improperly using their weaponry.
. . .
     “If we’re gonna give you money, we’re going to make you jump through a few hoops first,” [Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri who heads the oversight subcommittee for the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee] said.
     Hilary O. Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington bureau, told the committee that if the 1033 program is to be continued, it should be restructured to focus on “protecting and serving citizens.”
. . .
     Ms. McCaskill, Mr. Levin, and Mr. Obama joined Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, and Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat from Georgia, in questioning the program. In an announcement that he would formally draft a bill in September imposing limits on the transfer of certain equipment—including armored vehicles and large-caliber weapons—Mr. Johnson mocked Ohio State’s procurement of its heavy-duty vehicle, known as an MRAP, through the 1033 program.
     "Apparently, college kids are getting too rowdy," Mr. Johnson said.

Saddleback Police's MRAP (but why?)
. . .
     After the buildup and winding down of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the amount of surplus equipment available to law-enforcement agencies increased drastically. At colleges, where terrorist attacks and shootouts with drug cartels are virtually unheard of, the active-shooter scenario became the primary justification for colleges to acquire tactical gear.
. . .
     For Mary Anne Franks, an associate professor of law at the University of Miami, the possibility that an extraordinary event could occur doesn’t justify the procurement of assault rifles and armored vehicles. The real danger Ferguson residents faced came not from a terrorist attack, she said, but from police officers armed with this sort of equipment.
. . .
     Ms. Franks raised another concern: As students become aware of the military gear some police departments possess, she said, that may curtail their willingness to express themselves and protest.
     “It’s not just the question of what happens in any one particular incident, but the tone it sets about what an environment needs to be,” Ms. Franks said. “This presumption of danger—this presumption of hostility—is really toxic in many ways and avoids the problems that the community might actually be suffering from.”
. . .
     Professors like [Peter Kraska, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University’s School of Justice Studies] remain concerned about how the 1033 program could affect campuses.
     “It can have a profound cultural impact on a small police department when you start adding weaponry, battle-dress uniforms, all the advanced military technologies,” he said. “That small agency can go rapidly from one of protecting and serving to one of viewing the community as the enemy, and a potential threat.”

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

IVC procurred 15 self-protection clubs? Gosh, what are they afraid of?

Anonymous said...

Franks is right on the money. Our police seem a bit unfocused.

Anonymous said...

Well, historically it has always been the liberals that have used violence and property destruction to acheive their political ends. Since Universities and community colleges are the hotbeds of liberal-Democrat activism, it only makes sense to have an MRAP in the fleet, especially at a campus with a student body that exceeds 35,000. This application is not so much about IEDs as it is to withstand Mollitov cocktails, rocks, bottles and gunfire; the typical mechanisms of the millitant, liberal-Democrat. The MRAP is not so much about the millitarization of the police as it is for the protection of life and property. What they ought to do now is equip this vehicle with a water canon.

Anonymous said...

Hotbed! When I think of Saddleback the FIRST word that comes to mind is "hotbed"! It's just so fun to say: HOTBED! HOTBED! Almost as fun as "water cannon."

Don't get me started on the pleasures of "Mollitov" (sic). I met her once. Charming gal. we went out for drinks.

Anonymous said...

They got the MRAP because they could. Remember when they had that old plane on campus for the flight attendant training classes?

Anonymous said...

I believe he/she meant Molotov, as in Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov. The point has been well taken.

Anonymous said...

How about pink spray paint and sledgehammers?

Activist Instructions:
1. Spray paint your enemy's name on the MRAP
2. Smash the MRAP with the sledgehammer.

The return of the curious "Shooting Star" saga

     Back in 2012, I wrote a series of posts about the mysterious sinking, in 1974, of the yacht "Shooting Star," which took th...