Monday, May 18, 2009

Private Police State: Domestic police operations in the US are becoming the newest business for private security companies - ISN Security Watch

The men from Blackwater USA arrived in New Orleans right after Katrina hit.

The company known for its private security work guarding senior US diplomats in Iraq beat the federal government and most aid organizations to the scene in another devastated Gulf. About 150 heavily armed Blackwater troops dressed in full battle gear spread out into the chaos of New Orleans. Officially, the company boasted of its forces "join[ing] the hurricane relief effort." But its men on the ground told a different story.

Some patrolled the streets in SUVs with tinted windows and the Blackwater logo splashed on the back; others sped around the French Quarter in an unmarked car with no license plates. They congregated on the corner of St. James and Bourbon in front of a bar called 711, where Blackwater was establishing a makeshift headquarters. From the balcony above the bar, several Blackwater guys cleared out what had apparently been someone's apartment. They threw mattresses, clothes, shoes and other household items from the balcony to the street below. They draped an American flag from the balcony's railing. More than a dozen troops from the 82nd Airborne Division stood in formation on the street watching the action.

Armed men shuffled in and out of the building as a handful told stories of their past experiences in Iraq. "I worked the security detail of both Bremer and Negroponte," said one of the Blackwater guys, referring to the former head of the US occupation, L. Paul Bremer, and former US Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte. Another complained, while talking on his cell phone, that he was getting only $350 a day plus his per diem.
"When they told me New Orleans, I said, 'What country is that in?'"
From "Blackwater Down", Jeremy Scahill, The Nation, September 21, 2005

Police: Going Private

Domestic police operations in the US are rapidly becoming the newest line of business for private security companies, Jody Ray Bennett writes for ISN Security Watch.

By Jody Ray Bennett
18 May 2009

Pull Quote:
“In the Sept. 11 disaster that never seems to stop exacting its toll, one of the subtler but more serious losses is a consequence of the booming private security industry, which is draining the [NYPD] of some of its most desirable workers: the serious, smart and experienced senior officers the city needs most in a crisis.”

Fast forward nine years later and one finds a young industry built almost entirely on the backs of former military and police personnel who have provided everything from diplomatic, convoy, embassy, weapon storage and energy infrastructural security to gathering intelligence, conducting interrogations, patrolling borders on land, fighting pirates on sea and transporting goods and personnel by air. It would seem there is nothing these forces cannot do.

On private patrol

Policing some of the most dangerous US cities has quickly become the newest line of business for many of these companies which have already replaced police officers in cities from Portland to Baltimore.

The phenomenon runs deeper than the normal shopping center or bank security guard. While in many cases private security personnel act more as city cleanup, organization or local ambassadors, some cities are pushing for armed private security personnel to patrol the streets, perform arrests and transport civilians. This is somewhat of a cause for concern, especially because of the more controversial issues surrounding the role of private military and security companies abroad in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cities are turning to the private sector for a variety of reasons. Some local and state governments are under pressure from budget deficits and are often convinced that privatized industries are more cost-effective than state agencies and bureaucracies. Other cities have an already overstretched force that cannot respond to increases in crime, so private contractors are seen as a quick fix and an easy force multiplier.

From Oakland to New Orleans

Oakland, California is the latest city looking to hire private companies to patrol some of its rougher neighborhoods in the wake of record municipal budget deficits. Last April, according to the Wall Street Journal, the city successfully voted to outsource part of its police patrol to International Services Inc, but later retracted after “two of its vice presidents were accused […] by the Los Angeles District Attorney's office of defrauding the state of California out of more than $9 million in workers compensation.”

According to the daily Portland Mercury newspaper, Portland, Oregon’s downtown area is patrolled by armed personnel with arrest powers that are supplied by Portland Patrol, Inc, a company which, according to local media, has repeatedly evaded requests to appear before the city’s oversight committee.

Over 2,000 miles away, Chicago has turned to a company that currently operates in police-like automobiles marked “special patrol,” according to CBS News, and are expected to have their powers expanded as the city combats increased crime rates with an overstretched police force.

Down south in New Orleans, Louisiana, armed private guards patrol wealthy neighborhoods and private schools. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, “Some areas of New Orleans have used armed private patrols since 1997, when residents in an east New Orleans community petitioned Louisiana's legislature to create a tax on property owners to pay for a private force. About 20 residential tax districts have been established, employing an estimated 100 private guards. This month, seven more neighborhoods voted to create such districts.”

During the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was patrolled by approximately 150 heavily armed Blackwater personnel alongside several other big contractor companies like Dyncorp, Wackenhut and most interestingly, ISI, an Israeli company that flew in former Israeli Special Forces commandos.

Most notably of all of these companies is Capital Special Police, which not only supplies guards and corporate escorts, but offers “real police officers [that] arrest for felonies and misdemeanors; issue citations for infractions; and enforce local ordinances.”
In Full @ ISN Security Watch


rfbw said...

here is the next terrorist training camp

Da' Buffalo Amongst Wolves said...

From the link:

"Hardin will become internationally known if plans work out for a company that intends to use its jail facility.

"We will bring the city of Hardin onto the world map," said Michael Hilton of the American Private Police Force Organization."

The "American Private Police Force Organization"?

Is that a joke?

Hopefully Hardin (Montana) won't end up on "...the world map..." as a laughingstock or PR nightmare for the town when something truly atrocious happens to one of the 'inmates'.

Hmmmn did a 'Sam Spade' (download their standalone software from most popular dl sites) search on American Private Police Force Organization and came up with a private GoDaddy registration... unusual for a legitimate company, and a flashy website with that covers all bases from "...talent and expertise of their extensive global network to provide local, regional, and national security solutions..." to "..."Check Your Mate" (Cheating Spouse...".

This IS a joke, right? This so-called organization IS NOT going to be running this Concentration Camp?

It's a wannabe attempting to "be a private prison operation"

..or more likely, a scam.

"Calls to confirm whether the company has contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense were not returned Thursday.

The address provided on the company's Web site for Washington, D.C., leads to the business Preferred Offices, which leases real and "virtual" offices. That company's director, Ashley Corner, said it does not have a service agreement with any business named American Private Police Force Organization.

"We have no knowledge of this organization or company, or what their intent is or not," said Dwight MacKay, U.S. Marshal for Montana."

Da' Buffalo Amongst Wolves said...

Follow up, courtesy of a trackdown on a sitemeter hit on this post:

"What you’re not hearing is that the city of Hardin was “conned” in the first place into building this jail and signing off on $27 (probably 'thousand' or 'million'//Da Buffalo) worth of bonds.

The Texas contractors and promoters who ran the scam made off with millions before a brick was ever laid.

It wasn’t legal to operate it in Montana.

These characters that dragged Hardin down are currently running the same scam on other towns and even an Arizona Indian reservation."


Da' Buffalo Amongst Wolves said...

More Here:

California Company Prepares to Take Over Hardin Jail
By Matthew Brown Associated Press