Out-Of-Towners Whine About "The Militarization Of The Hamptons"

Tyler Durden's picture

The town of Southampton, with its 55,000 year-round residents and vaunted reputation as a summertime playground for wealthy New Yorkers, now has its very own counterterrorism squad. And unsurprisingly, it’s making the out-of-towners nervous.

At least that’s what Joe Nocera, a former New York Times columnist who now writes for Bloomberg View, suggested in a recent column. Apparently, the image of police carrying automatic weapons roaming around the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival is just too gauche for Nocera’s wealthy friends to stomach.

According to Nocera, the squad was first sighted in April, when cops wearing bulletproof vests and carrying fully loaded AR-15s showed up at the Bridgehampton Half Marathon, where they spent most of their time patrolling around the finish line.

But their presence at the BCMF left an impression on one of Nocera’s friends.

“A few weeks ago, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival held one of its occasional outdoor concerts at a nearby Long Island winery. It was well attended - 400 concertgoers came to sip wine and listen to the music of Bach and Django Reinhardt - but that wasn’t a surprise: Now in its 34th year, the music festival is one of the mainstays of the Hamptons summer season.


Here’s what was surprising, according to my friend and former New York Times colleague Susan Lehman, who was there: “Driving in,” she emailed me the other day, “it was impossible not to notice two figures with the word POLICE emblazoned in white on their spruce black costumes, and very noticeable automatic weapons in their hands.” She added that while the musicians were on stage, “two armed guards milled around in the open space in the front of the tent where the concert was being held.” Afterward, when someone inquired about the presence of these heavily armed police, he was told that the Southampton police department required the extra protection.”

Regardless of whether the terorr squad's presence is justified (as one resident informs Nocera, the town of Southampton has never suffered a terrorist attack), listening to rich white people complain about there being too many police is deliciously ironic.

“But why? It’s not as if Southampton has ever suffered a terrorist attack. Indeed, Southampton’s police chief, Steven Skrynecki, has repeatedly told the local media that there hasn’t been so much as a hint of a threat. But with so many events attracting wealthy celebrities - and with terrorist incidents on the rise in many Western countries - he felt that it was necessary to increase security.


Many of the people at Southampton events are symbols of American affluence and success and capitalism,’ Skrynecki told me. ‘At the same time, there is an abundance of freedom of expression and morals and dress. The attendees’ beliefs might be contrary to the known ideology of terrorist groups.’ He also mentioned the possibility that someone on the “ultra right” could try to commit an act of terrorism at a fundraiser attended by wealthy liberals.”

At one point, Nocera comes tantalizingly close to a breakthrough…

“We know that there will be terror attacks; that’s the world we live in. We just don’t know when or where. And the notion that there is a higher likelihood of an attack on a chamber music concert or a family fair than, say, an overcrowded Hamptons train depot on Labor Day weekend (which the police don’t patrol) seems a stretch, to say the least.”

…before blaming the town's chief of police of spreading "militarization fever."

“There’s another, more plausible reason Southampton has a 15-person counterterrorism squad. Skrynecki, it would seem, has caught militarization fever, a disease that too many of his fellow police chiefs have also come down with. It is disease that will soon spread further, now that President Donald Trump has agreed to give local police forces renewed access to surplus military equipment, something Barack Obama’s administration had restricted after the clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. Police officers are being transformed into soldiers.”

Nocera’s column wouldn’t be complete without an exegesis on the post-9/11 militarization of American police departments, a trend that will no doubt continue now that president Trump has lifted a ban on surplus military equipment being repurposed by local PDS.

“The militarization of local police forces, of course, is a trend that began after the Sept. 11 attacks, when many departments added “fighting terror” to their mission statements, and when the federal government began to make money available to local police to buy military-style equipment, including automatic weapons, night vision goggles and other paraphernalia. As the security expert Bruce Schneier points out, “when they get this stuff, they want to trot it out. So now it is being used.” Counterterrorism is as good an excuse as any.


There are certainly places where police are justified in having officers hold highly visible AR-15s - Fifth Avenue in New York City, in front of Trump Tower, is a pretty good example. In his previous post, as police chief of Nassau County, Skrynecki oversaw the huge security effort at last year’s presidential debate at Hofstra University. In the Hamptons, a visiting cabinet secretary like Wilbur Ross or Steven Mnuchin probably needs to have extra layers of visible security.


But the experts I spoke to thought that most of the time, such measures were counterproductive. It meant that the 15 members of the Southampton counterterrorism unit weren’t doing more productive policing. With both their hands needing to be on the gun, it was far more cumbersome to respond to less extreme situations that might arise. Most real terrorism prevention takes place before “the moment of contact” -- when the intelligence community scopes out a planned attack and stops it before it begins. There were, after all, Capitol police guarding the congressional baseball game in June, but they couldn’t prevent James Hodgkinson from nearly killing House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. You could even make the case that the presence of the Southampton police at high-end galas increases the likelihood of an attack by drawing attention to the events.”

Shame on the Southampton PD for having the audacity to force wealthy gala attendees to acknowledge the unfortunate reality that terrorism represents in the dangerous modern world in which we all live. Does he have any idea how this might impact home prices?

Luckily, anyone who’s been “triggered” by the terror squad this summer has at least one alternative: Maybe next year, they can vacation in Easthampton – one town over. Their police department doesn’t have a terrorism unit.

At least, not yet.   

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order66's picture

Well, there was probably a reason that police presence was there.

SubjectivObject's picture

i'm sure the unsanctioned terrorists can figure out to dress like the sactioned terrorists

The Cooler King's picture

Fucking DAVOS convention


Put on a Netanyahu mask and blow right thru security checkpoints

pathosattrition's picture

If you're gonna say dumb shit like "fully loaded[sic] AR-15s," at least hyphenate correctly. But guns are either loaded or unloaded. Only Cadillacs are "fully" loaded.

Jim in MN's picture

If these guys know which WAY to shoot when the American flagged militia come to the Hamptons it will all go much faster.....

divingengineer's picture

I'd be doing some civil forfeitures if I were a cop guarding those rich liberal assholes.s

robertsgt40's picture

Yuppr.  Gotta hang around those marathon finish lines. You just never know when a pressure cooker IED is going to go off. 

Tiwin's picture

fucking PIGS.

This is not America anymore.

Handful of Dust's picture

If I worked for the New York Slime, i'd feel "uncomfortable" also.

Swat has nothing to do with it.

Slime does.

Give Me Some Truth's picture

Our police forces are starting to look like Darth Vader's Storm Troopers.

SoDamnMad's picture

If you arrest ER nurses for no reason other than to violate the established laws because your a cop and rules don't apply to you,

who is going to treat the cops gun shot wounds when the population says enough is enough (too much)?

Big Twinkie's picture

Gutsy nurse -- I hope she wins her lawsuit.

Common_Law's picture

"unfortunate reality that terrorism represents in the dangerous modern world"

Yeah... Not buying it. I thought false flags were well known by now. 

Conscious Reviver's picture

"Yeah... Not buying it. I thought false flags were well known by now."

True that. No one is going to false flag the Hamptons during the Summer season and spoil the weekend for the terror bosses.

waspwench's picture

That "unfortunate reality" (terrorism) would not exist in our country if TPTB had not imported millions of fanatical muslims into Europe and North America.

It is obvious that there can be no integration of muslims and that there will be no tolerance by muslims.   We cannot live with them.

y3maxx's picture

-Look at the pic of armed police....three have Middle East dark skin tones.

Whoooaah.....first names on the name tags include, Ahmed, Muha and jihad j.

One day soon....gonna be fireworks in the Hamptons.

waspwench's picture

Well, there are a lot of muslims in high places in this country:  Obama, Valerie Jarret,  Huma and probably her boss too (Hilary always covers every inch of her body like a muzzie woman.)   Think about it.....

Bes's picture

so is zh for or against oligarchs having their own military?

<-- oligarchy is awesome!

<-- fuck those plutocrats!

Ms. Erable's picture

Definitely for the military being used against oligarchs.

And a big FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING FUCKS to the pussified whiners in the Hamptons; welcome to the bullshit the remaining 99.9999% of us have had to deal with for the last fifteen fucking years.

yogibear's picture

Because all the criminal banksters live there. Have to protect their special privilege of being above the law.


lil dirtball's picture

> probably a reason

Do you think it was ... terrorists?

Or - do you suppose it's to get everyone, including wrinkled old rich folk, further used to the idea of heavily armed goons stalking the public space?

NoPension's picture

New Toys!

Quit whining you fucking civilian trash. These are new " Legions ".
And you better do what they say.

I live on Maryland's Eastern Shore. One of the safest places in the country. And tooled up, I might add. Fuck around over here, and you will get ventilated. Maryland's fucked up carry laws be damned all to hell. ( That's for you Hogan. We elected a Republican in this pure blue commie state to fix some shit. CC needs fixing. Get on it, why don't you?)

Couple weeks ago, there was a ballon ( hot air) and wine festival. My wife called me, I was coming home from work. She was there with some friends, and asked me to get cleaned up and meets her. Quick shower and some clean clothes....I headed there. From a half mile away I started seeing flashing lights. WTF? Accident? No....seemed like every cop and fire truck from a twenty five mile radius was there...on every road....in and out. I made a turn in...and a cop asked me my destination. Huh? I looked around, it looked like a cop convention. I said " just passing through " and drove on through and went home. My wife called and asked if was coming. I told her I got there...and didn't feel at all comfortable at a " wine" festival with cops on every road in and out. I don't care the event...I don't like being around them. I do not trust them. So...I know EXACTLY how the writer felt.

An event, if it needs security...is much better with a couple plainclothes dudes blending in. And these cats aren't Andy Taylor any more. It's more like Arnold Schwarzenegger. They got their toys, they want to play with them.
Know a fair number of cops. Not a one is not an asshole. It must come with the job.

DelusionsCrowded's picture

A crazy asshole in a car can do a lot of damage driving into a crowd .
Which seems to have become some sort of delusion generated from Computer Games .. and drug abuse and busted homes .

Raymond K Hessel's picture

Right, it's the computer game that caused all this.

I remember how Pong used to rile all those terrorists back in the 60s & 70s.


jaxville's picture

Heavily armed law enforcement is becoming ubiquitous.  That is part of the conditioning required for the average person to accept and embrace the police state.  Where ever people gather, you will see it ....sooner than later.

Give Me Some Truth's picture

The terrorists are gonna get us! The Terrorists are gonna get us! The terrorists are gonna get us!

Everyone, please, join in. Say it. Mean it. Live it:

"The terrorists are gonna get us!"

God bless our Storm Troopers. More storm troopers. We've got to have more Storm Troopers. Help us! Oh God, help us!

... I think this summarizes the majority view in America. For what it's worth, The Totalitarians love it. More fear. Need to ramp up the fear just a little more ...

The police will save us. The police need more war stuff ... to save us! Oh, God, Mr. Mayor, Mr. Police Chief, Mr. President, Mr. Attorney General, Mr. Congressman, you've got to save me. I have kids. Please, sir. Please ...


Zorba&#039;s idea's picture

of course that implies reasonable

11b40's picture

Of course. They love chamber music.

jerseychris's picture

Ironic considering these are the limosine liberals that voted to let the arabs in because, "they're not all like that".  The yokels with ARs aren't going to help them.  I can't wait until these all these Dems get blown to smithereens and our country comes to its senses.

ET's picture

They look tough until the shooting starts and Molotov cocktails are tossed in their direction.

The officers will flee or retreat from danger and let the ordinary citizens fend for themselves from rioters and masked anarchists.

Desertion should be punished by death just like in the military.

New_Meat's picture

ET, call home to get a pic instead of the bag over your head.

"Desertion should be punished by death just like in the military."

Coupla' things, like when the .governor Terry McAwful tells the police to desert/leave their posts/not fulfill their duty, then it ain't the kidz fault.  And to all of the up-voters, you have no idea who is behind that armour.  There are lotsa' vets who have been in the sandbox or the Afghan who know how to stand up.  This is a statement of fact, not a statement of whether this ought to be or nay.

ET, I do hope that you make this assumption when facing armed agents of the state.  On the other hand, I am not going to invest into your prognostication skills, since you have no fucking idea what would happen.

-  Ned


junction's picture

Those police were there to boost their overtime pay and their future pensions.  If there was a real terrorist incident, they would be the first to run for cover.  Police chief Skrynecki should be fired for arrogance and spendthrift ways.

Give Me Some Truth's picture

Think about it. Is there any event in America that terrorists could not attack?

We're going to need more police. And our police are going to need more military gear. Wait ...

shizzledizzle's picture

They aren't there by accident... Looks like they are starting to worry about serfs bringing pitchforks to the party.

assistedliving's picture

that's what happens when your tax dollars pay for IDF to come here and train, equip and re-sell our own military weapons to our PD's.

we are all Palestinians now

New_Meat's picture

speak for yourself, palestinian.

gatorengineer's picture

Places like the Hampton will be where the shot starts when the white man finally has had enough of the joo world order.  Not anytime soon but perhaps one day at least in my dreams.

whatswhat1@yahoo.com's picture

"They aren't there by accident... Looks like they are starting to worry about serfs bringing pitchforks to the party."




The exact same progression has played out the exact same way throughout millennia.  The kings and queens are worried for their heads, and rightly so.

Omen IV's picture

Its obviously one of the clearest SELL Signals in Real Estate history

shizzledizzle's picture

I got 30 acers of farmland well the fuck away from these assholes with a pure stream running through it. Hell, I could live off small mouth bass and deer for years. I handload and shoot well. What am I worried about?

waspwench's picture

And you think that "they" will leave you alone to mind your own business?

1000 splendid suns's picture

Ask em if they'd like their defense stocks to go down and nothing will change.

Blano's picture

Those rich scum don't need to worry about Muslims, they need to worry about some of their fellow Americans.

When Civil War 2.0 goes hot those tricked out cops and the rich scum they're "protecting" will be easy targets.

EnragedUSMCExpat's picture

The cops will ditch their gear and bug out, switch sides or die. No amount of money will deflect a hurricane of lead, nor buy "loyalty" in the face of thousands of armed patriots.

cynicalskeptic's picture

Dream on..... that's WHY local cops are all wearing bullet proof vests and carrying assault rifles now.  It's why local cops have MRAPS. 

NO nation has ever built up 'law enforcement' powers WITHOUT using them on their own populace.  

The end is coming - you can't keep bubbles inflated forever and you can't keep lying about unemployment, inflation and GDP.  TPTB are fully aware that a shitstorm is coming - that's precisely WHY so much is being spent on cops, the military surveillance and all else.  They EXPECT a mass of hungry broke Americans to riot when they've lost their houses and everything else.  Those cops and military reinforcements are there to protect the 'haves' against the have nothing after losing it all's.   The white working and midddle class who lost their jobs andhouses and savings will be out rioting along with those tht alost their EBT cards.

But if you think 'the people' will prevail......bwahaaaaaaaaaaaa.........   I expect TPTB will simply cordon off the poorer parts of cities and let them consume themselves.

Places like the Hamptons, Greenwich et al will be safe behind blocked roads - far from the rioting poor.   Middle class burbs will be looted by local poorer neighbors - only the richest neighborhoods will be protected.


With all the weaponry now available to the authorities, 'the people' won't have a chance.  Microwave weapons that heat you up, sound weapons that drive you nuts, not to mention good old tear gas and bullets will deal with most.   It's funny how in even the most violent demonstrations in the last decade, the cops were ALWAYS super well armed - and any violence coming from the protestors was more than likely provocateurs working FOR the governent.

Even the best armed militias in places like Montana and Idaho are in for a world of hurt if they try to stand up to the forces that come to lock them up for being 'domestic threats'  = a few shots fired and predator strikes wipe them all out.   Look at howm many military exercises like Jade Helm have been staged that focus on'guerilla forces' or even 'rogue' military units (What? the ones that remember the oaths they took to uphold the Constitution?)

The days of revolutions in the street are gone.  Look at the crackdown on 'Occupy' - an unorganized group simply saying 'something is VERY wrong with bailing out Wall Street with trillions ' was treated like a terrorist organization and destroyed in a coordinated national take down.

Too many cops have been brainwashed into thinking that the people are their enemies.  They're all too ready to treat ANYONE that merely questions what's happening as some kind of threat.   Hell, I got fed up with the unfilled pothiles on my street and started filling them.   Twenty years back I'd done the same and had a cop go by and empathise with me - saying how cheap the town had become and that they were letting things fall into disrepair.  THis time I had two cops show up and threaten me without even finding out what was going on.  They then said 'You can't do that!'   They were infuriated when I said they should be thanking me.  They spend most of their time sleeping and rarely do the basics of enforcement.   W'eve got Semis going by on a 'no through trucking' street that never get stopped and stop signs are run regularly.   But go and patch potholes......   and meanwhile they're driving new hemi chargers - in a town where no road is straight for more than a few blocks and you will NEVER manage to get above 45.  But we've got cop cars that do 140.

I can't wait to see the looks on these cops faces when they realize they have no pensions - or anything else - anymore and they get left outside to face the rest of us when the doors to the bunkers holding 'the important people' close.

gatorengineer's picture

The cops have largely choose their side what remains to be seen is what the enlisted in the army will do.  Don't hear much about the oathkeepera anymore.

EnragedUSMCExpat's picture

No worries there. 10 million well armed, terminally pissed-off veterans are your guarantee. 

We don't advertise.

EnragedUSMCExpat's picture

Your last sentence is exactly why the cops will not prevail. No amount of gear or money can stop millions of enraged, well armed patriots. They will also be facing down their neighbors, peers and even families as is the case in any civil war.

If you don't heve the guts to fight, no problem. You are obviously terrorised by the thought of actually having to personally confront this evil and given the circumstances this is also, sadly, understandable. However, do not attempt to justify and cover-up your cowardice by attempting to project it onto others with defeatist spew. You can still contribute by folding bandages, cooking and dumping bedpans in hospitals for partiots taking up the slack for you.

Keep right on insulting the integrity and patriotism of our active duty military and veterans who will be the backbone of the resistance - see where and what that ultimately gets you, despicable, quivering, bedwetting coward.

NoPension's picture

Agree with most everything....except that we don't stand a chance.

Goatfuckers in mud huts have been putting up a pretty good resistance for 15 years.