Once again our ol buddies over at The Pitch magazine have broken new ground in an attempt to remain relevant in today’s ever changing world of Journalism. Their latest attempt entitled Cops in Toyland, is a completely one sided and often baseless hack piece designed to curry favor with their snowflake base by resurrecting the long dead topic of the so called militarization of police departments.
The primary target of the article is the equipment purchased by local police agencies through the Federal 1033 program that is administered through the Defense Logistics Agency. In short, the agency allows Law Enforcement Agencies to purchase excess military equipment such as aircraft, small arms or tactical vehicles for use within their departments. The cost for vehicles such as the ones noted in The Pitch hit piece are often little or nothing and the purchasing department is only responsible for any associated administrative and shipping costs. The ridiculously low price tag for said equipment is also a cost benefit to taxpayers, a fact The Pitch conveniently distorts by listing the “retail” price for surplus tactical vehicles instead of the true cost to police agencies. Let’s not let the facts get in the way here though, we’ve got an agenda to advance.
The Pitch piece claims the Lenexa Police Department has a 107 mm Mortar and shows a picture of an armored, tracked vehicle. Here’s where The Pitch goes completely off the rails. The picture The Pitch claims is a “107mm mortar” is actually a picture of a Japanese Type 96, 120 mm self-propelled mortar used by the Japanese Ground Defense Force since 1996. Its nicknamed Gottohanm which translated means God Hammer. For the sake of clarification, we’ve included a picture of an actual 107mm mortar vs. what The Pitch is trying to pass off as a 107mm mortar. Questions?
The Dog spoke with Lenexa Police Department, Master Patrol Officer Danny Chavez who noted the complete inaccuracy of the photo and added he didn’t even know what a 107 mm mortar was. “We used to have a tracked vehicle we used in parades” Chavez said. “It’s long since been retired and sent to the desert where the Army used it for target practice.” Chavez also told the Dog their vehicle was not weaponized and was used primarily for the protected transport of tactical officers and equipment, oh, and the requisite parade. He also clarified that when the Lenexa PD does need an armored vehicle, they, under a mutual assist agreement, will use one from a neighboring agency in Johnson County. Also for the sake of clarity, we’ve included a picture of the vehicle Lenexa PD used to have.
As for the quoted price tag of $200,000 thrown out by The Pitch, Lenexa PD Major Frank Ise stated that may be the sticker price for an armored vehicle of some type, but police departments “purchasing” assets through the 1033 program, as we noted above, usually get the equipment for next to nothing and incur minimal administrative and shipping costs. Again, a complete fabrication by The Pitch in order to push a narrative.
Maybe The Pitch should have taken the mega-hint dropped by Blue Springs Police Chief Bob Muenz who accurately stated in the article that “history has shown that weapons of this caliber and range are necessary to protect citizens and officers from criminals who readily possess these types of weapon.” Please allow the News-Dog to complete Muenz thought, “because criminals already have these types of weapons and more.” This fact-based, thin-blue line supporting Newshound knows it’s a big shock to the snowflakes but criminals won’t be bound by the constraints of the law and will manufacture, modify or otherwise invent new, different and exciting weapons and ways to kill people and break things. If Law Enforcement agencies are taking advantage of federal programs like the 1033 program in purchasing tactical equipment for pennies on the dollar in order to protect the tax paying public, this dog is all for it. The Pitch should be ashamed for passing such irresponsible tripe off as objective journalism.