Conflating police and military

Peter describes A worrying trend in law enforcement? He cites J Rawles on the Survival blog.

During the past several years, I have witnessed a dramatic shift in the focus of law enforcement training. Law enforcement courses have moved away from a local community focus to a federally dominated model of complete social control. …

No matter what topic the training session concerns, every DHS sponsored course I have attended over the past few years never fails to branch off into warnings about potential domestic terrorists in the community….

These federal trainers describe the dangers of “extremists” and “militia groups” roaming the community and hiding in plain sight, ready to attack. Officers are instructed how to recognize these domestic terrorists by their behavior, views and common characteristics. State data bases are kept to track suspected domestic terrorists and officers are instructed on reporting procedures to state and federal agencies. The state I work in, like many others, have what is known as a “fusion center” that compiles a watch list of suspicious people.

This is why profiling gets a bad name. While the police cannot profile known terrorists, they can profile imagined terrorists. Peter says

What worries me is that I’ve seen precisely the same signs that Mr. Rawles reports. There really does seem to be a growing emphasis in many (but not yet all) law enforcement circles that it’s “them versus us”, that any and every sign of individuality, independence and self-reliance on the part of private citizens is to be regarded as suspicious, and that those who object to such suspicions should be “put in their place”.

You can see this in the police actions against photographers. It is also visible in the expanding role of SWAT teams. In fiction, it is even part of the NCIS TV show where defeating the bad guys takes precedence over the boundaries between police and military.

Then you can get into the corruption of the police as revenue agents as a recent story illustrates about how traffic citations are a growing source of revenue for states or you can get into the police threatening boycott in Wisconsin if business owners don’t do as they are told …

Meanwhile, if you own a firearm or take prudent precautions for disaster preparedness or use a camera in public places, keep a low profile and be careful. Some law enforcement officer may see your activities as a part of a domestic terrorist profile and could decide that warrants further investigation, harassment, or worse.

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