Another week and another volume of stories in local newspapers reporting on another local police department receiving millions in grant money from the Department of Homeland Security.
From coast to coast, cash-strapped local law-enforcement agencies are taking possession of military-grade weapons, ammunition, and vehicles as part of a DHS program that provides such materiel in return for partnership with the federal government. Technologically advanced surveillance equipment is usually included in the deal, as well.
There are myriad problems with this relationship. First, there is not a syllable of the Constitution granting the federal government authority to provide financial aid to towns or states. Second, history proves that officers will use the combat-capable gear bought for them if they have the chance. Third, and most troubling is the fact that a quasi-military arm of the federal government is using what amounts to little more than bribes to convert local law enforcement into branches of DHS. Police, then, are obliged to heed their federal master’s voice, rather than to protect and serve their fellow citizens.
From pieces culled from local newspapers around the country, the sinister story unfolds:
From Yuma County, Arizona:
Yuma County will be receiving almost $1 million in funds from the Arizona Department of Homeland Security.
AZDOHS awarded the sheriff’s office $757,748 in overtime and mileage funding for ongoing border activities as part of the Operation Stonegarden Grant Program.
The funds include $676,561 for overtime and $81,187 for mileage costs.
In addition, the sheriff's office will receive another $169,375 from AZDOHS to cover radio user fees, radio and computer equipment, also as part of Operation Stonegarden.
Then, from Livingston County, New York, the Livingston County News reports that their county’s law enforcement will receive millions from Homeland Security for a seemingly innocuous purpose: upgraded communication equipment. The problem is that such a program is unconstitutional and undoubtedly comes with strings attaching Livingston County to DHS headquarters in Washington, D.C.
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