In an article for popular law enforcement website PoliceOne.com, Officer Steve Rabinovich writes that the controversial use of militarized vehicles in domestic law enforcement situations is necessary to deal with the threat posed by “anti-government groups.”
Rabinovich boasts an impressive list of credentials, with his assignments including Emergency Response Team, Crisis Intervention, ERU, Mounted and dignitary details. Rabinovich also teaches other police and emergency medical responders at his state’s technical college system.
Acknowledging that law enforcement bodies have received “criticisms from their communities” for utilizing the Department of Defense’s 1033 Program to acquire militarized vehicles previously used to hunt insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, Rabinovich cites domestic terrorism and “a steady increase in deadly and violent assaults on cops” as good reasons for police departments acquiring MRAPs and other military gear.
Rabinovich also points to “violent anti-government groups and individuals” who are “targeting cops as scapegoats” as another factor that justifies the use of militarized vehicles.
At no point does Rabinovich cite any actual studies showing violence against cops is on the increase, nor does he provide an example of any “anti-government group” that has launched a violent attack on police officers.
“The American law enforcement officer is expected to be able to work problems ranging from a traffic stop, noise complaint, or a domestic, to a terrorist act, mass murderer, or natural disaster. While your local town may or may not respond to terrorists planting explosives during a mass gathering event, a barricaded gunman or hostage situation is quite plausible scenario, and tools such as an MRAP will prove indispensable when that time comes,” writes Rabinovich.
“Police work isn’t becoming increasingly dangerous, even with the supposed corresponding uptick in “domestic and international terrorism,” points out the MassPrivateI blog. “Rabinovich must know this assertion won’t hold up because he adds the ridiculous claim that attacks on cops are ignored by much of the media or never reported at all. The exact opposite is the truth. In addition, the number of officers killed or wounded by civilians is a stat tracked by nearly every law enforcement agency. Civilians killed or wounded by police officers are stats tracked by amateurs, despite the fact that the DoJ has ordered these numbers to be reported annually — an order that has been mostly ignored for the last thirteen years.”
As we have exhaustively documented, many see the growing militarization of domestic police departments as a clear signal that law enforcement increasingly views the American people as a threat, with Indiana Police Sergeant Dan Downing admitting earlier this year that the increasing militarization of domestic police departments is partly to deal with returning veterans who are now seen as a homegrown terror threat.
During the height of the Ferguson unrest earlier this summer, MSNBC host Ed Schultz opined that such militarized equipment and vehicles was needed to deal with “anti-government” groups, while former Marine Paul Szoldra offered a different view, warning that scenes in Ferguson illustrated the “terrifying” result of the militarization of police, with the American people now being treated like insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Former Marine Corps Colonel Peter Martino, who was stationed in Fallujah and trained Iraqi soldiers, warned last year that the Department of Homeland Security is working with law enforcement to build a “domestic army,” because the federal government is afraid of its own citizens.
Martino was speaking at a council meeting concerning a decision to purchase a BearCat armored vehicle. The purchase of the vehicle was mired in controversy after the city’s Police Chief wrote in an application filing to the DHS that the vehicle was needed to deal with the “threat” posed by libertarians, sovereign citizen adherents, and Occupy activists in the region.