Richard Moore

"There are many police and law enforcement officials who are concerned with the 
growing trend of using military-trained mercenaries to train and work with local
police officers in the United States."


By Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
March 7, 2008

There are many police and law enforcement officials who are concerned with the 
growing trend of using military-trained mercenaries to train and work with local
police officers in the United States.

For example, Kentucky's Lexington Police Department contracted private Mercenary
Army Blackwater Security International to provide what's described as homeland 
security training. Meanwhile that city's Mayor Jim Newberry and its chief of 
police Anthony Beatty refused free training provided by the US Immigration and 
Customs Enforcement federal program that prepares police officers to enforce 
immigration and border security as part of their duties.

Lexington is on the nation's list of so-called Sanctuary Cities in which police 
officers are prohibited from working with ICE or Border Patrol agents in the 
United States. Critics are angry over the use of local tax dollars to hire 
Blackwater personnel to train the police.

But Lexington isn't the only city using hired guns to help local police 
officers. In New Orleans, heavily armed mercenaries from the Blackwater private 
security firm, infamous for their work in Iraq, are openly patrolling the 
streets of that beleaguered city.

Some of the mercenaries were reportedly "deputized" by the Louisiana governor 
and were issued gold Louisiana State law enforcement badges to wear on their 
chests and Blackwater photo identification cards to be worn on their arms.

While they are working in Louisiana, Blackwater officials say they are on 
contract with the Department of Homeland Security and have been given the 
authority to use lethal force if necessary. Some of the mercenaries assigned to 
patrol the streets of New Orleans recently returned from Iraq, where they 
provided personal security details for the former head of the US occupation, L. 
Paul Bremer, and the former US ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte.

While Blackwater mercenaries are some of the most feared professionals in the 
world, as military personnel they are accustomed to operating without worry of 
legal consequences, as are local police officers. This situation is what's 
disturbing both cops and civilians.

"It amazes me how politicians are so ready to use professional soldiers in a law
enforcement capacity. It just doesn't sit right with a lot of cops," said New 
York Police Officer Edna Aguayo, who received training in homeland security 

"We should be using experienced cops and experts in law enforcement as training 
officers, not former soldiers and mercenaries," she said.

Blackwater, which is based in North Carolina, is one of the leading private 
security companies providing security personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. Along 
with other companies such as Wackenhut Security, Inc., it has several lucrative 
US government contracts and provides security services -- including bodyguard 
work -- for many senior US diplomats, foreign dignitaries and corporations.

The company received international exposure when several of its security 
officers were captured, tortured and killed in Fallujah. Two of their charred 
bodies were hung from a bridge in March 2004.

"While many Liberals have decried the use of Blackwater in Iraq and Afghanistan,
these same Liberals don't seem to mind the use of Blackwater mercenaries within 
the United States," said conservative political strategist Mike Baker.

"Conservatives are the ones who appear upset over using contracted mercenaries 
to train cops and perform law enforcement functions. It's a way for politicians 
to bypass the Posse Comitatus Act that prohibits the military from performing 
police operations within the US," said Baker.

Some retired police officers believe that private security companies are going 
to be used to go after Constitutionalists who will not willingly submit to 
microchip implants and/or the satanic globalization that is currently unfolding.

Although many politicos are saying Blackwater is not performing police 
functions, their own statement seems to imply that they will provide whatever 
services a government -- federal, state and local -- desires.

"Man-made and natural disasters require an immediate robust response. Blackwater
Worldwide¹s extensive training facility and staff of former military and law 
enforcement professionals can provide the needed training and operational 
expertise to prepare security teams to effectively support state and federal 
emergency response units," according to Blackwater's mission statement.

"I'm troubled by the use of military personnel -- whether they be US soldiers or
private mercenaries -- performing a police or law enforcement function. While 
they may be experts in fighting wars, they are not constrained by the US 
Constitution as to how they operate as cops," said former NYPD detective and 
owner of FLT Security Services, Sidney Francis.

"Soldiers are soldiers and cops are cops. What's next? Using smart bombs to 
crash into drug dens?" he asked.

Since its inception in 2003, the US Department of Homeland Security has faced 
significant challenges related to recruiting, retaining, and managing its 
workforce of over 170,000 employees.

Recently, the US Congress requested the Government Accountability Office to 
analyze DHS's attrition, efforts to recruit and retain staff, use of external 
employees such as officers from private companies, and compliance with certain 
provisions of the Vacancies Reform Act, which requires agencies to report to 
Congress and the Comptroller General vacancies in certain 
presidentially-appointed positions requiring Senate confirmation.

While DHS's overall attrition rate for permanent employees (excluding those in 
the Senior Executive Service and presidential appointments) declined from 8.4 
percent in 2005 to 7.1 percent in 2006.

These rates, which were still above the roughly 4 percent average rate for all 
cabinet-level agencies, were affected by high levels of attrition (about 14-17 
percent) among transportation security officers at DHS's Transportation Security
Administration. With the security officers excluded, DHS's attrition rate was 
3.3 percent.

DHS implemented agreements under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, allowing 
nonfederal employees -- private contractors -- to be temporarily assigned to a 
federal agency to meet mission needs.

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