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Saturday, June 22
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

Federal infiltration

It is estimated that more than 100 college campuses nationwide, including no less than five Indiana college police departments, have scored surplus war-fighting equipment through deals with the Pentagon, according to PoliticalPro.com. According to the Lafayette Journal and Courier, Indiana colleges have begun acquiring military gear as well.

IU Police Department is sadly no exception. IU Superintendent of Public Safety Jerry Minger informed us two weeks ago that our campus police have accepted riot gear and at least six semi-automatic assault rifles.

It is somewhat a relief that the IUPD currently possesses nothing near the capacity of what was seen in Ferguson. However, any relief is trampled by the distress of knowing that even university police departments are submitting to the infectious militarization scheme that has been gradually radicalizing American law enforcement since the early 1990s.

Watching campus police departments across the country, like IUPD, adopt the assumption that danger is perpetually lurking to justify these decisions is proof that federalization has reached an astounding level.

This trend compels me to expect post office workers delivering our mail via BearCats or mall security rocking mine resistant Segways in the near future.

Now I’m not ridiculing our everyday police officers.

I’ve never served in the line of duty, so I can’t blame them for accepting free equipment that makes them feel safer.

The transition from peacekeeper to soldier isn’t just unlawful, though. It counters their respectful image, is uncalled for and doesn’t necessarily protect anybody.

This agenda gives the impression that our cops are beginning to consider their own security as more important than that of the people they’re supposed to protect.

It is also confounding how the federal authorities have continuously pushed militarization starting from a time period from which violent crime has declined significantly.

Campus police departments often cling to the threat of shootings to convince the public, but it seems that even well-equipped police units tend to engage inadequately and or too slowly when these rare situations do arise.

The untrustworthy central government has no reason to be systematically distributing these weapons to our local police, much less campus police, forces.

Judging by the relatively low numbers of surplus equipment in the hands of IUPD, it can’t be said we have a standing army among the citizens of Hoosier nation.

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