Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Creeping feudalism

The local sheriffs are looking more and more to the nobility for support.
While it's difficult to nail down just how prevalent it is for big money donors to serve as reserve officers with local law enforcement agencies, there is some anecdotal evidence. Consider one of the more infamous band of law enforcement reservists in the country: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's posse of some 3,000 volunteer deputies.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office in 2011 was investigating Arpaio's chief deputy, David Hendershott, for allegedly receiving a discount on a lease in a mall owned by a developer named Steve Ellman, The Arizona Republic reported. Ellman happened to be a captain in one of Arpaio's posses who'd also donated $25,000 to a political action committee that ran attack ads against the sheriff's 2008 election opponent, according to the report.

There's also been a notable recent report of a "pay-to-play" reserve unit in Michigan. The tiny village of Oakley, Michigan made local headlines when it came to light that its police chief had hired nearly 150 reserve officers, many of whom lived nowhere near Oakley and were among donors that contributed almost $200,000 to the town of just 300 residents.

An anonymous former reserve officer told the Detroit Free Press that reservists are not required to donate anything to the village. But each reserve officer pays $1,300 for a uniform, gun and armored vest and for the privilege of carrying firearms in public places where they are usually prohibited, even when off-duty, according to the report.
Also in New Orleans, we've allowed the local lords to outfit bands of knights with battle equipment (and smart phones).  So far they've gone around beating up on the peasants. Which, if you know anything about medieval history, you'll understand is pretty much going to be their function.

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