In the Berlin Citizen article, dated September 2nd, “Taxpayers’ group calls for police downsizing“, there appeared the following statements:
“There are some in Berlin who would have the public believe that our police force is the height of militarization. Fortunately, the facts don’t support their claims,” [Berlin Mayor Rachel] Rochette said….
In a phone interview, [Berlin] police Chief Paul Fitzgerald disputed the claim that the department is militarized…
According to Channel 3 News, “Berlin looks to build $21 million police department“, on August 25th, Berlin Police Deputy Chief “Klett said there isn’t necessarily military equipment in the department….” On the video, Klett states, “we do not have any, per se, military equipment.”
Under a Freedom of Information Act request, I obtained the following inventory of weapons of the Berlin Police Department:
- Seventeen (17), and one (1) on order, of Colt AR-15, 5.56mm rifles (one to be carried in each marked cruiser)
- Forty-eight (48) Smith & Wesson Model M&P45, .45 caliber handguns
- Five (5) 12 gauge pump action shotguns
- Twenty-eight (28) Advanced Tasers
- Various batons, and pepper spray.
And the forty-eight (48) Smith & Wesson Model M&P45 is the model designed for the military and the police: the “M&P” in the model number stands for “military and police”.
So are the police chief, deputy chief, and mayor quibbling over semantics when they state that the eighteen AR-15 rifles and the forty-eight Smith & Wesson M&P45 handguns are not military weapons?