Radley Balko notes another community that has gone ultra-militarized (and, as he says, “Who wants to set an over under on the first time they use this thing to bust a pot dealer?”)
Police Mag (March, 2008)
The Richland County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Department has acquired an armored personnel carrier complete with a turret-mounted .50-caliber belt-fed machine gun for its Special Response Team.
Sheriff Leon Lott told the Columbia State newspaper that he hoped the vehicle, named “The Peacemaker,” would let the bad guys know that his officers are serious.
“We don’t look at this as a killing machine,” Lott told the paper. “It’s going to keep the peace. We hope the fact that we have this is going to save lives. When something like this rolls up, it’s time to give up.”
Of course, such an article really demands a picture. I was looking to see if they had an image of the APC, but I didn’t expect this dramatic pose (although I should have — they sure love to pose with their military toys).
That appears to be Sheriff Lott in shirt and tie surrounded by his personal army.
They had a contest to name the armored personnel carrier and decided on “The Peacemaker.”
Sheriff Lott stated that the name selected from the entries will be ‹The PeacemakerŠ because that is the APC‰s purpose and the bible refers to law enforcement in Matthew 5:9 ‹Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of GodŠ.
You know, I was raised studying the Bible and had a special interest in the Sermon on the Mount. In all my reading of the beatitudes, I never once imagined Christ astride an Armored Personnel Carrier complete with a turret-mounted .50-caliber belt-fed machine gun, surrounded by apostles in SWAT gear, as he said to the crowd “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”