Protests in Ferguson, Missouri, where peaceful protesters faced St Louis county police equipped with machine guns, gas masks, camouflage, and armored vehicles, has made it clear that your local police department might be armed well enough to defeat the army of a country like Albania or Guatemala. As it turns out, Pentagon has a multi-billion dollar program which gives away all kinds of military hardware to the police, from the basic stuff like assault rifles, sniper scopes, and grenade launchers, to more advanced machinery like helicopters and armored vehicles, and to occasional non-military equipment. For example, Pentagon gave New Orleans police things like snow camouflage and men’s scarves. And although many people believe that the police doesn’t need things like armored vehicles or snow camouflage in snow-less New Orleans, all of this equipment is truly necessary for police work. Here are the explanations for 10 of the items actually given by Pentagon to the New Orleans police.
1) 1 Armored Personnel Carrier: This vehicle is needed to help black police officers get home safely after they’ve completed their shifts and changed into civilian clothing. Don’t you know how dangerous it is for an unarmed black man to drive through an area of heavy police presence?
2) 1 Mine-Resistant Vehicle: Considering the strong influence of French culture in New Orleans (including some of the less pleasant aspects of it), it’s very likely that the requisition form contained a typo, and the police mean to request a mime-resistant vehicle.
3) 20 snow camouflage parkas and 10 pairs of snowshoes: Because the people who govern Louisiana claim that global warming is a hoax and the planet is actually experiencing a global cooling, the New Orleans police expect that they would have to fight crime waist-deep in the snow any day now.
4) 3 circulating fans: Because it gets really hot in New Orleans, especially if you’re wearing snow camouflage parkas and snowshoes.
5) 360 men’s scarves: When camouflage and gas masks dehumanize police officers and turn them into some kind of scary forest-dwelling robots, a carefully picked elegant scarf can give them an element of flair and respectability.
6) 30 survival axes: An absolutely necessary item for repelling a zombie attack. If Pentagon already has a strategy for fighting zombies, it would only be fair if New Orleans police does join the battle, too.
7) 1 parachute bag (without the parachute): Should a bad guy hijack the helicopter and demand a suitcase of money and a parachute, he would be in for a nasty surprise when he jumps out with the money and discovers that his parachute bag is filled with 50 of those men’s scarves.
8) 1 infrared telescope: Because how else would you put a surveillance on that suspicious alien spaceship with the expired licence plates?
9) 46 laundry nets: Obviously an ideal instrument for catching money launderers.
10) 12 searchlights: Today’s criminals have gotten used to standard police interrogation techniques, and a regular 100-Watt lamp pointed in their face just doesn’t get the confessions like it used to.
Thanks to Eideard for the story. Also, the full list included things like pliers, chainsaw, bug-proof jackets, life raft, life preservers, diver’s suits, hammer, rubber mallet, machete, space heater, laser pointers, forklift, cork sheets, insulation tape, magnifier, battery chargers, generator, desk light, photo camera and tripod, folding chairs (at $1,096.99 each), garbage can, coffee maker, rubber sheets, and computer mice – so please feel free to add your explanations for these.