“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.]