Are Police in America Now a Military, Occupying Force?

Despite the steady hue and cry by government agencies about the need for more police, more sophisticated weaponry, and the difficulties of preserving the peace and maintaining security in our modern age, the reality is far different. Indeed, violent crime in America has been on a steady decline, and if current trends continue, Americans will finish the year 2013 experiencing the lowest murder rate in over a century.

Despite this clear referendum on the fact that communities would be better served by smaller, demilitarized police forces, police agencies throughout the country are dramatically increasing in size and scope. Some of the nation’s larger cities boast police forces the size of small armies. (New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg actually likes to brag that the NYPD is his personal army.) For example, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has reached a total of 10,000 officers. It takes its place alongside other cities boasting increasingly large police forces, including New York (36,000 officers) and Chicago (13,400 officers). When considered in terms of cops per square mile, Los Angeles assigns a whopping 469 officers per square mile, followed by New York with 303 officers per square mile, and Chicago with 227 cops per square mile.

Of course, such heavy police presence comes at a price. Los Angeles spends over $2 billion per year on the police force, a 36% increase within the last eight years. The LAPD currently consumes over 55% of Los Angeles’ discretionary budget, a 9% increase over the past nine years. Meanwhile, street repair and maintenance spending has declined by 36%, and in 2011, one-fifth of the city’s fire stations lost units, increasing response times for 911 medical emergencies.

For those who want to credit hefty police forces for declining crime rates, the data just doesn’t show a direct correlation. In fact, many cities across the country actually saw decreases in crime rates during the 1990s in the wake of increasing prison sentences and the waning crack-cocaine epidemic. Cities such as Seattle and Dallas actually cut their police forces during this time and still saw crime rates drop.

Read more here.

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Lawlessness In America: Unions Go Beserk

The Green Bay Press Gazette:

Hundreds of off-duty police officers and deputies joined protests today against Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill that would strip most collective bargaining powers from about 170,000 public employees.

Police, state troopers and firefighters are exempt from Walker’s proposal, but even as some marched on the downtown Capitol Square, hundreds of other officers from around the state provided security.

They came equipped with riot gear, including helmets and batons, they said, but didn’t expect trouble.

The Understory blog posts this:

From inside the Wisconsin State Capitol, RAN ally Ryan Harvey reports:

“Hundreds of cops have just marched into the Wisconsin state capitol building to protest the anti-Union bill, to massive applause. They now join up to 600 people who are inside.”

Ryan reported on his Facebook page earlier today:

“Police have just announced to the crowds inside the occupied State Capitol of Wisconsin: ‘We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what’s right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact, we will be sleeping here with you!’ Unreal.”

More from the Press Gazette:

Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Cpl. Matt Spence and Deputy Todd Traas stood guard on the Capitol’s northwest side directing pedestrians toward entrances to the building.

“We left at 3 a.m. on Thursday and have been (in Madison) ever since,” Traas said. Five Sheboygan County deputies were on duty Saturday.

They came equipped with riot gear, including helmets and batons, they said, but didn’t expect trouble.

“It’s been great,” Spence said.

Richard Daley, 62, of Green Bay, who retired from the Madison Police Department after 20 years on the force, came back to Madison on Saturday “supporting the fact that we all see this as union busting and wage suppression. This is a long-term, downward spiral of wages for working families.”

Wausau police Detective Cord Buckner, 42, stoically stood in the cold with an American flag wrapped around his face and holding a “Cops for Labor” sign as thousands of demonstrators marched around the Capitol.

“I‘m here to support all the unions’ rights,” he said. Saturday was his fourth day demonstrating in Madison since protests began, even though members of his union, the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, won‘t be affected directly by Walker’s bill.

“The aggregate effect on public employees will affect police unions eventually,” he said.

More from the Union Terrorists: