Sunday, October 30, 2011

Increased Militarization Of The Police

According to KRPC in Houston, The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in Conroe, Texas used $300,000 in federal homeland security grant money to become the first law enforcement agency to purchase a ShadowHawk unmanned helicopter made by Vanguard Defense Industries. (Note to other news agencies: See how KRPC included links to references so people can read these things for themselves? Hint, hint.)

Montgomery County did not get the weaponized version of the remote controlled helicopter.

Michael Buscher, chief executive officer of manufacturer Vanguard Defense Industries, said this is the first local law enforcement agency to buy one of his units.

He said they are designed to carry weapons for local law enforcement.

"The aircraft has the capability to have a number of different systems on board. Mostly, for law enforcement, we focus on what we call less lethal systems," he said, including Tazers that can send a jolt to a criminal on the ground or a gun that fires bean bags known as a "stun baton."

"You have a stun baton where you can actually engage somebody at altitude with the aircraft. A stun baton would essentially disable a suspect," he said.

According to the Vanguard site:

U.S. Military and Law Enforcement consumers have less-lethal/lethal options including single or mulitple (sic) shot 37 mm/40mm grenade launcher, 12g shotgun.

I imagine a "less lethal system" consisting of a 37mm or 40mm grenade launcher engaging somebody "at altitude" probably would disable a suspect.

Somewhat akin to the Scooter Chair commercial, Vanguard Defense Industries lets law enforcement agencies know that they may qualify for a free Shadowhawk.

By nature of the Shadowhawk’s unique capabilities, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies can obtain 100% funding to purchase and maintain a UAS of their own. For further information on applicable grant funding please click the link below or contact us directly for further information.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office may want to rethink getting the weaponized version of the Shadowhawk. It's the closest thing to a combination AK 57 oozie radar laser triple-barrel double-scoped heat-seekin shotgun needed to bring down Da Turdy Point Buck.

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