Sunday, December 7, 2014

Militarized police units around the world

Members of Belgium’s special forces
 AFGHANISTAN:  in their anti-riot gear at their base in Kabul.
 A Mumbai police constable
MALAYSIA: Public order police, the Federal Reserve Unit
 SERBIA: Gendarmerie officers
ITALY: Carabinieri
BOSNIA: Members of Special Police Support Unit 
   SERBIA: Officers of the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit
 VENEZUELA: National police officers
 MEXICO: Members of the Task Force for Mexico City
 UNITED NATIONS: Members of the U.N. security forces
 In 1993 the Justice Department installed the 1033 program as a way to help law enforcement agencies counter drug activities during the United States’ “war on drugs.”  In 1997, the boundaries of law enforcement expanded after Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, granting police and other agencies the right to obtain weaponry for specific law enforcement purposes that would help in making arrests. Many U.S. police departments have since acquired surplus U.S. military hardware: armored vehicles, military-grade weaponry. According to Reuters, since 1996 the Defense Department has transferred $4.3 billion in military equipment to local and state police through the 1033 program. And after 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security allowed local law enforcement to inherit a surplus of military weaponry from wars abroad through federal funds to counter terrorism.