Monday, June 9, 2014

What Good Is $100 Million For Security Without An MRAP

Like others, I wondered why South Dakota needed more money per-capita than New York for homeland security. 

As a South Dakotan used to my state getting its fair share or more of the federal government's security largess, I was, therefore, greatly troubled to learn that South Dakota is one of a handful of states that has not received a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle. This handy chart from the New York Times shows that all of our neighbors have at least one such vehicle.

NYT chart. Click to enlarge
On a slightly more serious note, the article also points out that the sheriff's department North Dakota's Walsh County has 40 silencers that they apparently were unaware of.  One wonders what military equipment South Dakota's law enforcement agencies possess wittingly or unwittingly

 Its worth questioning whether most police departments need military equipment. The equipment does seem to give rise to responses that are much more muscular than necessary:
The 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.

Taken in that light, lack of an MRAP is probably a positive for South Dakotans' safety unless Montana,Wyoming, North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa,and Minnesota coordinate an invasion.

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