Across America, Police Departments Are Quietly Preparing For War

Tyler Durden's picture


At first blush, the title of this post could be perceived as somewhat hyperbolic by those who still have an impression of America's police departments as bastions of safety, designed "to protect and to serve" the population of the "land of the free." However, said impression would be promptly washed away upon reading an article in today's NYT which citing Pentagon data, reveals that under the Obama administration, "police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft."

Which begs the question: just who is America's police force, and by extension the Obama administration, which is behind this quiet militarization of local police forces with weapons that would normally be seen in a warzone, preparing for war against?

And while we already documented America's conversation to a turnkey totalitarian banana republic (confirmed over a year later by Edward Snowden), behold America's conversion to a police state:

In the past we have occasionally covered the slow (but sure) conversion of America's Police force into an army, fully loaded with the latest weapons and equipments, not even we had an idea of the full extent of what was going on behind the scenes. As the NYT describes, all of the above-mentioned equipment "has been added to the armories of police departments that already look and act like military units. Police SWAT teams are now deployed tens of thousands of times each year, increasingly for routine jobs. Masked, heavily armed police officers in Louisiana raided a nightclub in 2006 as part of a liquor inspection. In Florida in 2010, officers in SWAT gear and with guns drawn carried out raids on barbershops that mostly led only to charges of “barbering without a license.

Surely in an age when the NSA managed to eradicated all terrorism (oh oops, Boston bombing, we forgot, just ignore that), the mantra that a "weapon unused is a useless weapon" has never rang more true, but dispatching crack police team to handle rogue "barbers"? Sadly, that may be just a harbinger of the crackdowns the US police state will unleash shortly on anyone even the least bit guilty of violating some law or regulation. Or maybe completely innocent, just guilty of sparking the USPD's curiosity. 

Meet the new normal SWAT: new, improved and, well, everywhere:

The number of SWAT teams has skyrocketed since the 1980s, according to studies by Peter B. Kraska, an Eastern Kentucky University professor who has been researching the issue for decades.... The ubiquity of SWAT teams has changed not only the way officers look, but also the way departments view themselves. Recruiting videos feature clips of officers storming into homes with smoke grenades and firing automatic weapons. In Springdale, Ark., a police recruiting video is dominated by SWAT clips, including officers throwing a flash grenade into a house and creeping through a field in camouflage.

The rationale for the weaponization of the US police force is simple: it's yours if you want it. Also, it's free.

The Pentagon program does not push equipment onto local departments. The pace of transfers depends on how much unneeded equipment the military has, and how much the police request. Equipment that goes unclaimed typically is destroyed. So police chiefs say their choice is often easy: Ask for free equipment that would otherwise be scrapped, or look for money in their budgets to prepare for an unlikely scenario. Most people understand, police officers say.

In the meantime, this is where the build up has come from...

Congress created the military-transfer program in the early 1990s, when violent crime plagued America’s cities and the police felt outgunned by drug gangs. Today, crime has fallen to its lowest levels in a generation, the wars have wound down, and despite current fears, the number of domestic terrorist attacks has declined sharply from the 1960s and 1970s.


Police departments, though, are adding more firepower and military gear than ever. Some, especially in larger cities, have used federal grant money to buy armored cars and other tactical gear. And the free surplus program remains a favorite of many police chiefs who say they could otherwise not afford such equipment. Chief Wilkinson said he expects the police to use the new truck rarely, when the department’s SWAT team faces an armed standoff or serves a warrant on someone believed to be dangerous.


Today, Chief Wilkinson said, the police are trained to move in and save lives during a shooting or standoff, in contrast to a generation ago — before the Columbine High School massacre and others that followed it — when they responded by setting up a perimeter and either negotiating with, or waiting out, the suspect.

... and where it is going.

In South Carolina, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department’s website features its SWAT team, dressed in black with guns drawn, flanking an armored vehicle that looks like a tank and has a mounted .50-caliber gun. Capt. Chris Cowan, a department spokesman, said the vehicle “allows the department to stay in step with the criminals who are arming themselves more heavily every day.” He said police officers had taken it to schools and community events, where it was a conversation starter.


Not everyone agrees that there is a need for such vehicles. Ronald E. Teachman, the police chief in South Bend, Ind., said he decided not to request a mine-resistant vehicle for his city. "I go to schools,” he said. “But I bring ‘Green Eggs and Ham.’ ”

The people are said to believe the explanation:

"When you explain that you’re preparing for something that may never happen, they get it,” said Capt. Tiger Parsons of the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office in northwest Missouri, which recently received a mine-resistant truck.

You mean like the Fed stepping back from propping the global capital markets? Or like Caesar taking over Rome and only then handing over the power to the people?

But however you explain it and whatever you call it, don't call it overkill, no pun intended. Actually call it overkill.

Pentagon data suggest how the police are arming themselves for such worst-case scenarios. Since 2006, the police in six states have received magazines that carry 100 rounds of M-16 ammunition, allowing officers to fire continuously for three times longer than normal. Twenty-two states obtained equipment to detect buried land mines.


In the Indianapolis suburbs, officers said they needed a mine-resistant vehicle to protect against a possible attack by veterans returning from war.


“You have a lot of people who are coming out of the military that have the ability and knowledge to build I.E.D.’s and to defeat law enforcement techniques,” Sgt. Dan Downing of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department told the local Fox affiliate, referring to improvised explosive devices, or homemade bombs. Sergeant Downing did not return a message seeking comment.


The police in 38 states have received silencers, which soldiers use to muffle gunfire during raids and sniper attacks. Lauren Wild, the sheriff in rural Walsh County, N.D., said he saw no need for silencers. When told he had 40 of them for his county of 11,000 people, Sheriff Wild confirmed it with a colleague and said he would look into it. "I don’t recall approving them,” he said.

Funny how that happens. Because that's the whole point: if the police department is there to protect the people, shouldn't the people decide how the police is armed? Apparently not. Then again, the light bulb did go over some heads.

At the Neenah City Council, Mr. Pollnow is pushing for a requirement that the council vote on all equipment transfers. When he asks about the need for military equipment, he said the answer is always the same: It protects police officers.


“Who’s going to be against that? You’re against the police coming home safe at night?” he said. “But you can always present a worst-case scenario. You can use that as a framework to get anything.”


Chief Wilkinson said he was not interested in militarizing Neenah. But officers are shot, even in small towns. If there were an affordable way to protect his people without the new truck, he would do it.


“I hate having our community divided over a law enforcement issue like this. But we are,” he said. “It drives me to my knees in prayer for the safety of this community every day. And it convinced me that this was the right thing for our community.”

Great, absolutely. Now just open it up for a vote and le the community itself decide!

Which brings us back to the original question: as the NYT succinctly summarizes the situation, "as President Obama ushers in the end of what he called America’s “long season of war,” the former tools of combat — M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more — are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice."

 Perhaps that sentence needs some qualification: as Obama, humiliated on the international arena by everyone, from Assad to Putin and back, and desperately seeking to avoid future embarrassment, redeploys weapons of mass murder, why is he seeking to put said weapons - many of which are of the offensive kind - not out to pasture but in America's very own back yard? Just who does Obama plan to wage his next, and hopefully last, war against? The good news is that everyone will get sufficient advance notice before said war begins by the squadrons of weaponized drones sent out to test the ground, and inflict the "accidental" collateral damage casualty, or million.

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StacksOnStacks's picture

They're rolling double to a car right now in Vegas.  Heavy presence.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

How can preserve immense power of state without very best of weaponry!?

CH1's picture

Gee... guess who the enemy is!

Bohm Squad's picture

Hmmm...  War on Drugs...War on Terror...War on Poverty  Those were overwhelming victories.  So a War on US Citizens is likely to be just as effective.

CH1's picture

At least it will make for some nice back-door sales at the local thug complexes.

kliguy38's picture

someone needs to control you pillagers and looters

CH1's picture

someone needs to control you pillagers and looters

Of course! That's a job for professional pillagers and looters! (AKA, government.)

So What's picture

With few exceptions, cops have low IQ. It would be hard to change their heart and mind. Most of them get a high harassing ordinary citizens. The recent event in Las Vegas would only make them more paranoid. My guess is when violence is wide spread during the collapse, you can count on them being with the banksters. Sad but true.

Bad Attitude's picture

Across America,Police Departments Are Quietly Preparing For War.

Across Americia, US citizens are quietly preparing for war... A war the Obama regime is determined to start.

Forward (over the cliff)!

BTCTalks's picture

Hmm... I don't know much about the geographical distribution of returning vets. But if I had to hazard a guess, my map might look similar to the one above.

zerozulu's picture

You cannot fight with a monster but you can starve it to death. Stop feeding the monster.

THX 1178's picture

Why does New Mexico need all them MRAPs? Maybe its all those alien research bases.

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Grenade launchers.  Because Obama.

ACP's picture

This simply looks like a new strategy. If you can't take away all the guns, up-armor.

y3maxx's picture


Big Slick's picture

7.62 mm rifles (from the graphic) is really odd.  This is the AK 47.  I was unaware police forces were obtaining AK style weapons (AR 5.56/.223 yes, even .308, but AK?)  Does anyone know what is going on here?

Andre's picture

Uhh, no. There are actually quite a few .308 assault-type (10-20 round box mag)weapons out there. Most are semi-auto, but a few are selective fire. SCAR-H is the best known.

economics9698's picture

Civil war is different, we can chase these guys down in their house. 

First rule of war, you never fight fair.  If you confront a enemy in a “fair” fight you are a retard.

FEDbuster's picture

Fourth generation warfare, study it.

SoberOne's picture

They must ask themselves "why would returning vets be angry?" Maybe im paranoid but all recent events with VA and Bergdahl seem to be an attempt to spark outrage.  Perhaps they are running out of time and are scrambling? 

Headbanger's picture

Big Stick: 

The AK fires the MEDIUM power 7.62x39 SOVIET (don't say Russian) cartridge and if you did the simple math of dividing 7.62mm by 25.4 mm/inch you would find it's exactly 30 caliber!

Just like 308 which is also known as 7.62x51 NATO but is a FULL power cartridge which is fired by the AR-10 among other weapons 

Such weapons are nothing new to police forces here as most departments have had M-16s for decades (fires 5.56 NATO)

But I think a 9mm weapons such as the H&K MP-5 makes more sense for urban police forces cause 9x19 is a lot more plentiful ammo and is made with 124 grain bullets as most 7.62x39 but about half the muzzle velocity or one fourth the energy.

And when the SHTF as the preppers say it will, these heavily armed police forces will be the least of your worries.

Cause it will be your heavily armed neighbors you'll have to deal with.

So you better stop giving them the finger and tailgating and letting your dog crap on their lawn and be nice instead.

And don't think you're going to "bug out" to the hills cause rural "hills people" are even more heavily armed and much better shots. Which is why they're a lot nicer to each other.

And there's no heavily armed police forces in them thar hills nor them thar swamps or grasslands to protect you either!


Oh wait..   I just noticed the "scary" cartoon above shows LESS THAN TWO MAGAZINES PER RIFLE!  So no big deal.

Unless the police have been switching over to belt fed weapons instead.   THEN you have to worry!

TeamDepends's picture

Thank God they caught the scofflaw  barbers.

wallstreetaposteriori's picture

Sooo the closest state to Russia doesnt buy anything...  Fucking stupid!

gold-is-not-dead's picture

I'm so excited about the forthcoming civil unrest in the US.

chumbawamba's picture

Chris Cowan, a department spokesman, said the vehicle “allows the
department to stay in step with the criminals who are arming themselves
more heavily every day.


I chuckle.  I don't think their little tanks and peashooters are going to be a match for the American people.

And no local pig is going to be willing to die to defend a policy coming down from a foreign jurisdiction.  Especially when he realizes that for all his fancy armaments, he's still outgunned, and the very uniform he wears makes him a target, i.e. "the enemy".

Bring it, you fucking illiterates.  Just be sure it's what you want, because there's no such thing as a fair fight (Guerrilla Warfare 101).

I am Chumbawamba.

Alex DeLarge's picture

7.62mm used to be used for the M60 full auto rifle. It was an amazing weapon for laying down supressive fire. It made this awesome chug chug chug sound when fired wide open.

Jendrzejczyk's picture

The local police don't even know what is going on.

A while back, three of them were stomping off into the woods behind my house in a suburb of D.C.,  "protecting" us from a couple of kids with BB guns.

When I questioned them, they didn't even know what ammo thier assault rifles used.

Slave's picture

WTF are you doing living in a suburb of DC?

quasimodo's picture

Are you fucking kidding? They were not even able to tell you what size ammo they were using?

You sure they were not the kids with BB guns?

Kid1776's picture

7.62x51mm NATO is basically interchangeable with .308

The AK-47 is chambered for 7.62x39mm ... but this is not the round the graphic is referring to.


economics9698's picture

7.62x39 (AK-47), 7.62x51 (308), 7.62x54 (Mosin) 

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Dont forget the 7.62 x 63 (BAR), for tickling the ribcage.

CoolClo's picture

The "head space" is different between the 7.62 NATO and the civilian .308.... That's  the reason that some non-military .308 rifes will NOT function properly with the 7.62 NATO (7.62 x 51) round..

Slave's picture

By saying 7.62 the graphic means 7.62x51 aka .308.

Pyrrhus's picture

7.62x39 is the round for the AK-47.

7.62x51 is approximately the same as the .308 Winchester.  It is the NATO round used in some sniper rifles and the M240B medium machine gun.

Having said that, homeland security has purchased many thousands of 7.62x39 rounds.  For what reason, I do not know.

JB's picture

To use when their shitty ARs break down.

US soldiers have been ditching M16 variants for Kalashnikovs for fifty years.

wee-weed up's picture



Here's the strategy...

Obozo's DHS is busy playing Santa and giving the police depts all the military toys they could ever want. The LEOs are in hog-heaven playing with them. But, here's the rub...

The DHS is going to later expect these same LEOs to obey Obozo's command to fire on US citizens when it comes. There will be a heavy cost for all those toys.

mumcard's picture

Lots of shiny toys will be liberated.

Bill of Rights's picture

And their families will perish as an example that if you side with the tyrants your brood will be eliminated.

Funny these clowns are so confident to think that 200 million strong armed citizens are just going to stand there and be docile, this is not the 1930's

boogerbently's picture

My fervent wish is that the police and military don't blindly follow their govt "leaders".

They MUST feel like we do, that it's "time for a change", revolution style.

Bottom up transformation.

Would you side with the tyrants while your family was waiting at home with the "oppressed" ?

Quentin Daniels's picture

Unfortunately, in most parts of the US, police departments typically aim to hire less intelligent cops.  They are easier to train the empathy out of, and more likely to blindly obey orders so long as their pay keeps coming.

In other places, where cops are reasonably intelligent, I'd have more faith in them siding with the citizens when SHTF.  Here in Australia, most cops are required to take a 3 year degree as a part of their training.  Low intelligence would disqualify you from even applying to be a cop.  While Australian police have started going through the same militarisation as in the US, albeit to a lesser extent, I get the feeling that if the government started overtly moving against the people, many, if not most cops would feel very uneasy about the orders they were receiving and ultimately start disobeying those orders and side with the people.  Although it does happen, compared to the US, it's rare to find a cop here that acts like they actually get a buzz from cracking the heads of fellow citizens.  There are some, but not too many.  Most are decent, intelligent citizens.

By comparison, the only hope US citizens have of the police joining them in a revolution is if the government collapses to the point that cops stop getting paid.  Of all the public payroll, the cops will be the last ones to stop being paid.

El Vaquero's picture

Actually, in the 1930s, we did come fairly close to a revolt.  Farmers would show up to auctions when a fellow farmer's farm had been foreclosed on, stamp out any serious buyers and then purchase the farm for something ridiculously low, like $5, and give it back to the original farmer.  And don't forget the bonus army.  As much as I dislike FDR, he did understand that those kinds of events would eventually avalanche into something bad.

youngman's picture

Its called harvesting...

maskone909's picture

Damn why okc and nm get so many? Are those future flash points?

Pants McPants's picture

Cushing, OK - Oil.  Same as it ever was.

El Vaquero's picture

Two national labs, a fuckton of nuclear weapons and the White Sands Missile Range in NM.  That and we've been known to shoot up courthouses. 

Lmo Mutton's picture

Kind of hard to stop feeding the monster when the damn thing prints its own food.

Seek_Truth's picture

One beast replaces another. (Revelation 17:11).

Until the end. (Revelation 17:10).

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Geographical distribution?  I'll state the obvious.  Looks like they know the South is more likely to resist.