I’ve railed against police militarization in the past, and will do so again in the future. My main beef: the proliferation of SWAT teams throughout the land and inappropriate deployment. At no point did I suggest that the average cop shouldn’t have immediate access to a patrol rifle. They should. And, for the most part, they do. But not in Mobile, Alabama. It seems the feds shipment of ex-military rifles to local law enforcement – under the much-criticized but still active 1033 program – delivered unto Mobile . . .
200 fully automatic M16 rifles. Like so much of the $5.1b worth of ex-mil equipment shipped into the heartland, the local force can’t afford the upkeep. Or, in this case, the conversion to semi-automatic. MPD spokesperson Officer Terence Perkins highlights the problems . . .
“Anytime you have a fully automatic weapon, you have to have a lot of training with it because after the first two or three rounds the rifle begins to rise so you lessen your accuracy with a fully automatic weapon,” said Perkins.
So the department has to convert them to semi-automatic – a timely and costly proposition.
While switching to semi has to costs a lot less than, say, running an armored vehicle, priorities! Yup, you guessed it: back in August 2014, al.com reported that the MPD scored two Hummer Humvees, eight 2.5-ton, high-water American M352A trucks; five Chevrolet K5 Blazers and a Case M1394 tractor. Oh and 532 Colt AR15 rifles. So, what happened to the 332 full-auto Colts not mentioned in the more recent article?