Sunday, November 21, 2010

Are You SURE It's the Police?

Chilling article: Private Security Continues to Invade American Towns, on the Intel Hub site. More and more, American towns are seeing private security firms behaving as if they're the police. From their appearance: uniforms, logos, vehicles, that often share the same elements as the local police forces, to their behavior which crosses  lines of legality, these private security firms are becoming more blatant (as we saw with the BP disaster in the Gulf, for example.) This is scary and one more blatant signal that the police state has come to America, sometimes being called out works:
Last year, it was discovered that a private security company, American Police Force, had entered the small town of Hardin, Montana and had assumed the duties of patrolling the town and enforcing laws. APF had originally been contracted to provide security at a detention center near Hardin. However, not long after, residents were answering to them as if they were real law enforcement personnel. APF “officers” were soon driving around in police patrol vehicles, harassing citizens, and acting as if they were truly the authority in Hardin. Only after the independent media, such as Alex Jones’ Infowars, exposed APF did the mercenaries leave Hardin.
Encouraging, but Brandon Turbeville, author of the article, warns us not to take any of this casually. These firms have no real authority:
While one can argue that there is a place for private security companies, there is no argument to be made for their assuming duties designated to local police forces. It is important for everyone to remember that private security forces, whether contracted out by the government, businesses, or acting alone, have no jurisdiction. They are not police officers and should not be treated as such.
Another point Turbeville makes; these private firms make a lot of money, and their thugs do as well, more so than the police with legal authority. Privilege, money, and the arrogance of the insulated, private realm of hired guns set against the overworked, underpaid men and women who are given authority are the ingredients for disaster. 

4 comments:

  1. The myth of the APF taking over the town of Hardin, Montana, won't die.

    On September 10th, the day that the arrangements for career California con man, "Michael Hilton," became known, I exposed him as a fraud, proving that most of his contentions were transparent lies and that his corporate "history" was a fabrication.

    Despite making half a dozen phone calls and sending 18 e-mails with my findings to the regional media in Billings, the AP and the Gazette took another day to demonstrate the slightest skepticism regarding the hoax. For the next two weeks they continued to treat the scam as if it had some element of truth, until after I'd sent them and TV station KULR 26 pages of face sheets of breach of contract, recission and unlawful detainer suits brought against Hilton in the two decades plus of his perpetrating scams. I sent two criminal cases as well, though I couldn't tell if they were for this "Michael Hilton" or not. I had also discovered 17 aliases that he'd been using since the '80s.

    There were two gaps in the almost endless record of scams in which he was involved. I presumed he had been in jail for those two or three year periods. It turned out I was correct again.

    Despite my efforts, the beat reporter from the Gazette, a woman I'd long been trying to get removed from the jail scam beat, actually quit her job of 20 years at the paper to go to "work" for Hilton. He paid her with a Mercedes SUV and probably one of the many bad checks he'd kited around town to a Hardin innkeeper and a Billings lawyer. The MB SUV was repossessed a couple of weeks later.

    Alex Jones arrived in Hardin, weeks after I'd blown the cover of the con man and exposed the stupidity of local officials who'd been taken in by him. Anyone with a room temperature I.Q. should not have been taken in by the silly sting, but Alex either was too stupid to see what was happening in front of him, too delusional to be able to distinguish illusion from reality, or he found the fake story too delicious and valuable, in terms of his own ego gratification and unwarranted fame, to abandon it.

    Whatever his reasons or shortcomings, The myth has persisted for the last 14 months because people need fables when truth doesn't serve their purposes.

    "Octopusconfessional" should be ashamed of itself, as should Regan Lee for continuing to perpetuate these myths, but both have a lot of company. There's hardly a day goes by when I do not receive still another breathless, often "eyewitness" account regarding the supposed existence of something that never actually happened.

    "You could look it up," as they say.

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  2. Well Sherlock, I thank you for your comments. Given the realities of private security behaving in these ways, the Hardin story is not beyond the realm of belief. If, as you say, your facts are correct, then so be it, and there you are. I am not "ashamed" of myself, I post items I find interesting. People can think for themselves. Now they can do research on your comments, and see for themselves what is what...

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  3. Sherlock, what is your real name, profile doesn't give it, and since you say you exposed people in Hardin I assume your name is available. I tried to follow your links but one doesn't come up at all, and the other one is a blog with no posts. Thanks.

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  4. Send your e-mail address to coloradocopps@yahoo.com and I'll respond.

    Meanwhile, here's a couple of URLs that will give you some idea of the nature of the original scam regarding Hardin.

    http://inthesetimes.com/article/5578/the_rainmakers/

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/10/must-read_story.php

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