Many residents believe “The Tank” along with many other purchases was wasteful and over the top. The 1033 program allows police to acquire military vehicles and equipment from the Department of Defense.
Sheriff Robert Spoden’s statement is the very reason we have law enforcement “to serve and protect”. The police could spend unlimited amounts of money purchasing MRAP’s, LRAD, Bearcats, tanks, M-16’s, grenade launchers, Stingray Technology, Hailstorm, robots, guns and it could all fall under “It will pay for itself when it saves just 1 life“.
According to the Janesville Gazette the department has out of date handgun’s but opted for the tank instead:
“Sheriff Robert Spoden could have spent the money on regular pieces of equipment that deputies carry every day—handguns. It’s the duty of the sheriff to replace guns that are considered “old” by industry standards.”
Just over 2 weeks ago there was a joint purchase of a Bearcat by the Rock County Sheriff’s Office and Janesville and Beloit’s police departments along with a $20,520 robot for the Rock County SWAT team.
One concerned citizen commented – “We did not get a fraction of a percent safer by investing in a tank we were able to use at any moment of any day. The bearcat was on the way, we were safer already. ”
Law enforcement off military bases is the responsibility of a civilian police, not the military.
In 1878, the Posse Comitatus Act was passed. It limited the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement. The statute prevents military personnel and units of the National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress.
Are police in military vehicles and equipment one small step away from military being police?
The ACLU has launched an investigation into the militarization of our police.