PULASKI COUNTY, IN — As the Department of Defense continues to flood America’s local police departments with military equipment, some cops are letting the propaganda and the free toys go to their heads. One sheriff in Indiana let out a disturbing admission that he views America as a battlefield — making it imperative, in his opinion, to equip his deputies with gear fresh out of the hands of U.S. soldiers fighting overseas.
“The United States of America has become a war zone,” said Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer in an interview with the Indianapolis Star.
His department has received attention after it sought out and acquired a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle through the Pentagon’s police militarization program.
Sheriff Gayer remarked about the MRAP, “It’s a lot more intimidating than a Dodge.”
Pulaski County is extremely rural, containing only 13,124 residents. In 2012, Pulaski County only 11 theft (or larceny) incidents, 1 murder and a grand total of 17 property crimes. Despite this, sprawling farm county has procured hundreds of military items, valued at over $5,000,000.00, under Sheriff Gayer’s leadership. The items, listed in a database at the Indy Star, range from dozens of vehicles, weapons, tactical equipment, bayonets, tools, and more.
Gayer defends the lucrative federal handouts by spreading paranoia about crime in America.
“There’s violence in the workplace, there’s violence in schools and there’s violence in the streets,” said Gayer. “You are seeing police departments going to a semi-military format because of the threats we have to counteract. If driving a military vehicle is going to protect officers, then that’s what I’m going to do.”
Sheriff Gayer elaborates about the perceived battlefronts he faces on the department website: “With the threat of homeland terrorism, rising violence in our schools, drug and alcohol abuse, our society and freedoms that we so dearly cherish are being challenged,” Gayer wrote.
So there we have it. The enemies Pulaski County faces are terrorists, unruly students, and prohibition violators.
“I will do this to the best of my ability and will not allow The Thin Blue Line to weaken by those who would do us harm,” Gayer added on the website.
As a retired law enforcement command officer I was dismayed to read the remarks of Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer, who said, “The United States of America has become a war zone. There’s violence in the workplace, there’s violence in schools and there’s violence in the streets.”
During my tenure in law enforcement there was violence in those places too. But it did not motivate us to transform from public servants and peacekeepers into warriors, taking weapons that were designed for foreign battlefields and turning them on the American people.
We were reluctant to deploy SWAT teams, fully realizing the violent response that such a display could provoke and employing such tactics only in the most extreme circumstances. Law enforcement agencies are now eager to deploy such teams even in a total absence of demonstrated need.
Here in my own city of Carmel, an incident occurred, reported in these pages, wherein a SWAT team deployed and terrorized a local family, jamming guns in their faces and dragging them away in handcuffs, based on nothing more than a single, unverified, uncorroborated phone call that a shooting had taken place. The report proved to be false.
This would have been simply impossible in my day. When we received such a phone call we sent officers to the location, and we knocked on the door! Wow! What a revolutionary concept!
No, Sheriff Gayer…The United States of America is NOT a war zone. It is the place where Americans work, live and play. Law enforcement officers who are trained that America is a war zone do not regard citizens as individuals with rights to be protected, but as an enemy to be subjugated. And if the law enforcement profession does not wake up and change this attitude, we, the people, will be forced to call on our legislators to rein you in.
Lieutenant Harry Thomas
Kudos Lieutenant Harry Thomas for speaking out, your point is exactly the views of this website which has come under scrutinity n my community. My free speech has been threatened and my 4th amendment rights have been violated. The same officer was also found guilty of police brutality in a normal traffic stop. This seems to be a issue in the last 10 years or so and is getting worst.