by Travis Gettys for Raw Story
The war on terror has essentially turned police into occupying armies in some American communities, said a police and criminology expert.
Thomas Nolan, an associate professor of criminology at Merrimack College and former senior policy analyst with the Department of Homeland Security, said the focus of police work had shifted greatly since he was a Boston police officer in the 1980s and 1990s.
“I remember it being drilled into me as a police officer, as a sergeant and then as a lieutenant: partnership, problem-solving, and prevention – the three Ps,” Nolan said Wednesday during a panel sponsored by the American Constitution Society.
He said police were heavily trained to form alliances to help them to better serve and protect communities, and he said those relationships clearly don’t exist in Ferguson, Missouri.
While the war on drugs is frequently cited as a major factor in the breakdown of civil liberties and police-community relations, Nolan said a more recent shift was largely to blame.
“In the early 2000s, particularly after 9/11, we saw a paradigm shift from community policing and problem-oriented principles to the war on terror, and we became Homeland Security police,” said Nolan, who has worked in the federal agency’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
He said this shift toward “homeland security” had quickly destroyed the relationships police had worked nearly two decades to build.
“I think what has happened as a direct result of that, is that those relationships that we forged, and worked so hard to attain and to maintain in the late 1980s and early 1990s, began to erode because the police were seen, particularly in communities of color, as an army of occupation,” Nolan said.
“If you dress police officers up as soldiers and you put them in military vehicles and you give them military weapons, they adopt a warrior mentality,” he continued. “We fight wars against enemies, and the enemies are the people who live in our cities – particularly in communities of color.”
(snip) Continue reading at Oath Keepers’ national website, where you may leave your comments as well as enjoy the video of this former senior policy analyst for the Department of Homeland Security. This expert is not some disgruntled citizen who is screaming about the militarization of our police — he is the former senior policy analyst at DHS and an experienced, calm authority who is trying to help solve the problem of police militarization and the American people’s rejection of that idiocy. The brief video will impress all viewers.
Ramping up your news scans over the Ferguson, Missouri “state of emergency” and expected roll-out of over a hundred DHS enforcement vehicles? You’ll want this video kept close at hand.
Elias Alias, editor