Police Militarization For Fun and Profit

Houston partiers watch as SWAT cops show their stuff (courtesy blog.chron.com)

“Few galas can boast as many lights, cameras and action as the Houston Police Foundation gala.” With a lead like that you gotta know this gem from chron.com is going to be a great story. And so it is—if you love you some police militarization. “The sixth annual soiree returned to its original location at the River Oaks mansion owned by Landry’s CEO Tilman Fertitta and wife Paige. The lights started blocks away, as parked police cruisers flashed without abandon, and continued up the palatial home’s driveway to the party’s entrance . . . partygoers could learn to operate a taser gun, take target practice with the SWAT team, clip a bomb wire and negotiate a laser entrapment course. After guests took their seats, per the event’s custom, the ‘show’ began . . .

a true-to-life scenario involving a mock robbery and shoot-out, during which HPD rescued “victims” and searched for the perps, demonstrating the use of equipment such as medical trauma kits and tactical vests that the Houston Police Foundation helped fund. Among the show’s highlights: two police helicopters flying in to spotlight the on-the-run criminals . . . The fundraiser raised more than $650,000, which will be used to provide equipment and training for Houston Police Department.

Because the Houston Police Department’s $600m annual budget isn’t enough to make them into a proper military force. Oh and strangely enough the billionaire host of the gig (Tilman Fertitta) is the same guy who’s been cozying-up to (i.e. funding) . . .  wait for it . . . Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords of Americans for Irresponsible Disarmament. Connect those dots. [h/t M.R.]

comments

  1. avatar TheSleeperHasAwakened says:

    Cops cameo is what always puts me over the edge!

    Hey Cops…you’re not Soldiers setting up an ambush…stop acting like you are in a war zone you wanna-be D-Bags!!!

    If you want to play Soldier, sign up and go fight where people shoot back at you and then we’ll see how tough you really are!

    1. avatar Kevin A. says:

      People don’t shoot back at cops?

      1. avatar jason says:

        ive never heard of police taking RPK and DSHK fire. please keep me posted if they do.

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          Roger that!

      2. avatar dsreno says:

        With those outfits, how can you tell they are cops? They look like a slightly under equipped military force or those compound-dwelling well regulated militia types.

        I don’t care if they wear body armor and tactical vests as long as their outfits have the word POLICE in big bold letters. We shouldn’t have to read the fine print on a generic looking sleeve patch to find out that it is just the police, dressed in body armor, occupying the streets with machine guns.

      3. avatar TheSleeperHasAwakened says:

        Not enough to warrant the need for camo for an ambush!

        1. avatar Mk10108 says:

          Love the name Sleeper

  2. avatar 0351 says:

    It seems to me that there should probably be laws against aligning a supposedly impartial government service with politically motivated benefactors…
    Also, it really strikes me as odd that so many police departments apparently need so much money for training and gadgets, while I somehow manage to obtain better training, and nice equipment, on income significantly less than the average salary of all law enforcement officers, much less the ridiculous funding levels some of these departments get. Hell, some of these departments get more training and equipment funding than military infantry units, yet aren’t nearly as effective. At anything.

    1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      That’s the part of the “Friends of the NRA” fundraiser dinners that irks me: the donations of tac equipment to police departments. I’m cool with the women’s programs, the kids’ training programs, the range safety work, and I’m all about the Eagle, of course. I even get the supposed purpose of building strong and respectful relations between the firearms owing community and law enforcement.

      Still, at some point, perhaps the point when they started expecting to be called “law enforcement” instead of just “the cops”, ponying up for take down gear starts to look a lot less like helping out the hometown heroes, and a lot more like getting shaken down by the local constabulary.

    2. avatar Steve D. says:

      It’s because of Houston’s liberal lesbian Mayor – Anise Parker, who is also on douchebag Bloomberg’s list of Illegal Mayors with Guns and Felonies. She’s anti-constitution just like the rest of the D-rats, so is obviously Pro-Militarized Police.

  3. avatar Venator Magnus says:

    I personally have no problem with police going “tactical.” My only issue is when said police have a problem with myself and others, as law-abiding citizens, being able to carry and use similar firearms in perfectly legal activities.

    In the meantime, a town of 5,000 just down the road from me bought an MRAP for its police department, leading some to question its necessity. That’s not so much the issue for me, though, only the cost.

    1. avatar M60E3 says:

      Personally, i wouldnt draw the line at similar weapons and equipment. Anything they have access to, we lowly peasants should have access to as well. I sincerely doubt each of them had to wait 15 months or so, and pay $200 per NFA weapon they use to be able to do so.

  4. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

    Bah! His fish joints aren’t so great, anyway. Now, I’m not going so far as to say they’re basically Long John Silver’s with a liqour license (mmmmm…….hush puppies and merlot……..), because they are good. It’s just that I’ve had better and paid less in any number of Houston-Galveston area lower key outfits than his. Really, there’s nothing so bourgeois as having a Joe’s “an embarrassment to any neighborhood” Crab Shack go up near your home.

    1. avatar Paul W says:

      I thought the food sucked personally. Ate at one with my folks last time I went to Houston; gag. Red Lobster is better.

      1. avatar Nathanredbeard says:

        My cousin works at one, and he will never eat any seafood at one. I follow his lead.

  5. avatar KAT says:

    “Oh and strangely enough the billionaire host of the gig (Tilman Fertitta) is the same guy who’s been cozying-up to (i.e. funding) . . . wait for it . . . Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords of Americans for Irresponsible Disarmament”

    Gag!

  6. avatar 0351 says:

    Meanwhile, only 1-2 percent of all law enforcement contacts involve the use of force, according to the statistics I’ve seen. So what exactly is the point of this excessive focus on militarization, which seems largely ineffective given the videos and news reports I’ve seen anyway.

    1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

      Stop asking questions like that, citizen, or you are going to find out personally.

    2. avatar Red Sox says:

      The point is the militarization of PD’s and for what? Oh wait I remember the statist’s and Obama doesn’t want to take our guns …. or our health insurance either.
      0351, what’s your point?

    3. avatar Jim R says:

      The US Army isn’t allowed to operate on American soil, so instead they turn the cops into an army. Posse commitatus or something, probably spelled it wrong.

      1. avatar jason says:

        you are correct, but the National Guard CAN. why don’t police use STATE ASSETS to the fullest, instead of becoming some sort of well meaning amateurs with badges.

        1. avatar Jay1987 says:

          Because the Guard have to be activated by the govenor not some piss ant top cop. that and the guard is more a disaster response/ emergency force than police. We don’t do the cop thang.

        2. avatar jason says:

          but you could. if the police needs APC’s……..get them from you. there is NEVER an URGENT need for heavy arms in a police scenario. I wish we could help……but we are not allowed.

        3. avatar JaredFromTampa says:

          Because, the Guard isn’t a police force. We have to be activated by the governor. We respond to natural disasters and act as an auxiliary to regular Army units in times of war.

          – a former guardsman.

          —shit, I didn’t see that Jay had responded likewise.

    4. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Because terrorists!

  7. avatar Duke of Sharon says:

    Was there a dog shooting demonstration?

    1. avatar Roll says:

      Arfcommer?

      1. avatar txJM says:

        That would be a dag shooting demo.

    2. avatar Buzzy243 says:

      ROFL

  8. avatar Danny says:

    Police departments in a lot of places, especially large municipalities and cities are notorious for dirty dealings, from corrupt unions to these needless charities.

    According to charity navigator, the United States Deputy Sheriff’s Association is in the 10 ten on their list of 10 Consistently Low Rated Charities.
    http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=11054#.UnK-8BAueLw
    More about them: http://www.tampabay.com/americas-worst-charities/charities/united-states-deputy-sheriffs-association-inc

    On that last website you see that a lot of police and firefighter organizations have been shown to fail to meet their goals due most of the time due to squandering of donations or to pay for profit organizations to collect donations. On that note, why the hell do taxpayer created organizations like the police and the firefighters need public donations? What city government (minus Detroit?) doesn’t have the money to keep those jobs supplied?

  9. avatar 505markf says:

    The dots connecting things are pretty clear. Statists and those who want to disarm us don’t want to disarm cops because they LOVE law and order – why not as they write the laws. And they love cops because cops are beholding to them – they are employees of the state – and their behavior/loyalty (for many, if not for all) is to those that pay them. It’s a true good old boys world out there for those who pass laws and those who enforce them. Except perhaps for the elected LEOs, such as sheriffs.

    We – the people who accept responsibility for our own safety and demand the tools to achieve it – are the problem in their world view. We are pretty hard to control, being some what stubborn and willful to a fault.

  10. avatar Brooklyn in da house says:

    Follow the money.

  11. avatar Don says:

    There should be a wall of separation between police duty and the military duties. For domestic terrorist attacks we should use military responders. For policing use police. Our police spend too much time preparing, gearing up, and contemplating militarized action when what they do all day is nothing like fighting terrorist attacks, and then that militarized mentality bleeds over to their common duties. Soldiers make crappy cops and cops make crappy soldiers.

    -D

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      …which is why there IS a wall, just not the one you seem to endorse. What, exactly, would be the point at which an attack becomes the military’s problem on US soil? What about a political assassination? Does it need to be something besides guns?

      Think this stuff through, people…

  12. avatar Robert Seddon says:

    I believe the overall impression they want to leave is that IF terrorists want to pull a show in a U S shopping mall, they will be ready .. no real tactical training mind you, but they WILL be ready ….

  13. avatar Robert Seddon says:

    just like in Boston.. did ya see all of the military crap in use there? All the feet that got run over and such? Lotta good all that did, especially the MRAPS and armored carriers .. not ONE WAS USED, but they had them !!

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      No, they had them and used them. See the suburban martial law lockdown. All they did was clog the roads, intimidate the subjects, and wreck the paving.

  14. avatar Martin B says:

    I did have an enforcement job of sorts for a number of years. I investigated welfare fraud, taking the worst cases to Court and the lesser crimes incurred a financial penalty. I would often travel up to 500 km per day, meeting up to 20 people to get a good overview of each situation. (Hint for any in this work: Always ask the grandparents – they generally don’t lie for their offspring). I dealt with gang bangers, criminals, and low lifes, as well as fine upstanding folk who took a wrong turning. I never had the need to protect myself with a weapon, and never had any violent incidents (apart from a dog bite or two). I had search powers, but not powers of arrest. My experience is that if you treat even the worst of the worst as if they had a tiny modicum of human dignity, the level of confrontation goes down dramatically. Our New Zealand Police don’t generally wear weapons, and there are few instances to prove this a bad choice. Militarizing your Police means an escalation in confrontation, and will result in more deaths and injuries, which are utterly needless. And it’s a waste of money. The only people to benefit from this (remember the cardinal rule, cui bono – to whom is the good) are the rich benefactors who can then call on the Police to follow their own political agenda out of loyalty and expected future patronage. Any municipality allowing this is selling it’s citizens out.

  15. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    While gazing in my crystal ball today I saw a fairly grim future for the American people. Brace yourselves ladies and gentlemen, we’re in for a rough ride and it’s likely going to get worse before it gets better. Oh, and the better part might not be in our lifetimes. Semper Paratus up, y’all.

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    Tilman Fertitta is the grandson of Vic Fertitta, the mob guy in Galveston who ran the notorious Balinese Room. His cousins Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta own the Station Casinos in Las Vegas. Oh, and the UFC. Which bought the Japanese “Pride Fighting” marque from the Yakuza.

    So why does he support gun control?

    “It’s the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I’m a bad guy, I’m always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You pull the trigger with a lock on, and I’ll pull the trigger. We’ll see who wins.”

    Sammy “The Bull” Gravano

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Wow Ralph … you answered the question in my post below before I even asked it. That is impressive. The force is strong in this one.

  17. avatar Michael B. says:

    I’d take the “unprofessional” average joes who were hired right off the street in the early 20th century and given truncheons, a revolver, and cuffs over any of these sociopathic commando wannabes.

    Progressivism and police “professionalization” led to increased militarism.

    Read this:

    http://tinyurl.com/kxwhmre

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Easy to say as someone who was never beaten with not so much as a report filed for you to examine…

      I love when people look back to an imaginary past.

  18. avatar Barstow Cowboy says:

    I think it would’ve been an awesome demonstration if they had a person get mugged and then shot, and then 10 or 15 minutes later a couple of patrol officers showed up and wrote a report, then went off to run radar.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      For the win!!!!!!

      Now that is the best comment that I have read all year, bar none.

      1. avatar Barstow Cowboy says:

        Shucks…thanks.

  19. avatar juliesa says:

    Did they do a throwdown gun demo? Houston PD was notorious for that back in the ’70s, when I lived in that media market (College Station), but that was a long time ago.

    Until I read Ralph’s comment, I didn’t know the Fertittas had run the Balinese Room. Being out on that long pier, they always had plenty of time to hide the gambling equipment from police raids

    Googling around, I see Fertitta has sold Joe’s Crab Shack, which is good, because I go there sometimes, but I don’t want to send any money even indirectly to Mark Kelly.

  20. avatar Ralph says:

    Stuff like this makes me long for the time when cops were beer-bellied Irishmen, the “Gala” was a kegger hosted by the FOP and cops were our friends and neighbors.

  21. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    What the hell is going on with all of these mega wealthy people funding civilian disarmament?

    Are they afraid the peasants are going to show up with torches and pitchforks to steal their wealth so they want to disarm us before that happens?

    Or is it good old fashioned elitism? (They must be better than everyone else because they are wealthier than everyone else?)

      1. avatar Mk10108 says:

        No it’s not the peasants. It’s the Castle, Coin, & Conscience doctrine.

        The sole job of a cop is to keep the 10% of our population (criminals and scum) away from law abiders and taxpayers. The problem is this activity…expenditures are not enough to cover cost. When tipping point is reached, cash flow burden requires increasing traffic tickets and law enforcement to seek additional opportunities for revenue. Selling guns, skillful conversation to warrant-less searches. All in an opportunity to charge. It’s the lack of conscience to create coin, supporting their castle is what drives the crew in blue. No duty to protect their citizens only to serve themselves and protect their pensions.

  22. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    “… take target practice with the SWAT team, clip a bomb wire and negotiate a laser entrapment course …”

    Note to self: Any bombs, weapons of mass destruction, doomsday machines et cetera which I build [or at least those which I deploy] shall employ wiring of uniform color and type.

    “Cut the blue wire.”
    “THEY’RE ALL BLUE!?!”

  23. avatar Scott says:

    “Oh and strangely enough the billionaire host of the gig (Tilman Fertitta) is the same guy who’s been cozying-up to (i.e. funding) . . . wait for it . . . Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords of Americans for Irresponsible Disarmament.”

    Hmmm….. I wonder if any of this has anything to do with the Harris county CLEO refusing to sign off on NFA items?

  24. avatar Lars says:

    It’s all about a national police force, it’s not that difficult to figure out. The reason police and sheriff depts are being militarized is to one, get some of that hardware and toys the military industrial complex has laying around put to use(there are over 2 million tanks, apc’s, jeeps and other armored type vehicles and toys sitting unused in the US, California has the most land and aircraft junkyards) and two begin the push for a national police force. If you think a national police force is a crazy conspiracy and could never happen here think again. We have DHS as the test pilot, with each passing month local and state agencies are becoming involved with or actually allowing DHS into their depts at some level. Much of the federal funding for local and state police now goes through DHS. It’s so obvious it would be comical if it wasn’t so damn important. US Border patrol is also moving further and further in and away from the borders, this is a gradual move but it purposeful as the idea is to setup checkpoints as far inland as possible until a public uproar begins, if and when the uproar happens a new phase will begin, or continue as I, we are not privy to what the hell is going on. But again, it’snot that difficult to figure out. National registry, national police, drones, spying, schools turning into prisons, prisons turning into schools, NSA data banks being build right in front of us because they are storing so much damn info there isn’t enough room for it in their bunkers. Are you kidding me? This isn’t a riddle wrapped in a enigma covered in secret sauce, it’s right there in front of us growing with each passing day.

  25. avatar FirstShirt says:

    The Posse Comitatus Law of 1878 restricts US military forces from involvement in enforcing State Laws. Although the National Guard, a State resource, could be used it is somewhat cumbersome and time consuming to bring on line. What is the end around play for local authorities to employ against their citizens? You guessed it; SWAT.

    The training necessary for the members of the team to be competent and knowledgeable in how to employ their tactics without violating the law they are sworn to protect is another matter entirely. That requires money and common sense, two items in short supply in city or county government.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email