Sheriff Raney: "Trust Us" with Military Gear

by Will

Liberty Minute September 24 2014

Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney took to the editorial page of the Idaho Statesman newspaper to assure local residents that his department has taken note of public concerns regarding police militarization. Within a few days, Raney took to the airwaves to condemn a proposed bill that would rein in ? however tentatively ? the transfer of battlefield weaponry to local police.

The measure in question is co-sponsored by Idaho Republican Congressman Raul Labrador and Georgia Democrat Hank Johnson. It would place modest restrictions on the Pentagon?s 1033 program, through which armored vehicles, grenade launchers, drones, and other war-fighting assets are provided to police. More importantly, I would remove a requirement that agencies receiving those assets use them within a year ? a provision that creates a perverse incentive for unnecessary paramilitary operations by police.

In an interview with Boise?s CBS affiliate, Raney asserted that the bill ?is bred out of ignorance.? Raney has criticized the grotesque militarized police response to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, but insists that he and his subordinates, unlike their comrades in Missouri, can be trusted to use their own Pentagon-provided hardware more responsibly.

?This is Ada County where we use those tools to keep people safe,? Raney insists, echoing assurances offered by kindred officials elsewhere ? including Ferguson, Missouri.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

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