Community in Michigan Alarmed at ‘Militarization’ of Police

Citizens are in an uproar in Barry Township, Michigan over the recent acquisition of military-grade vehicles and the intention of the local Chief of Police to supplement the current staff of four full time sworn officers with 34 additional reserve officers. These additional officers do not have certification.

Members of the community worry that these additional officers are not local and thus are outsiders to the community and cannot possibly feel a part of it.

The police acquired 2 APCs and 2 Humvees through a US DOD program that provides grant money to local police agencies to purchase surplus military equipment and hardware.

Critics say that the Chief of Police’s stance on enforcing the law are far too aggressive, while supporters feel that, in the wake of the rash of school shootings across the country, he is quite justified in taking a firmer stance.

Some of the concern over the aggressiveness of the local police stems from an incident in May of this year when a local resident, having departed a freshly closed bar, was seen relieving himself by three officers. While being apprehended, he received a knee to the back and his hand was broken. The officers claimed that he was disorderly and resisted while he and a witness insist that this was untrue.