Call me paranoid, but I cannot help but visualize a police-state regime instated in the freedom loving United States when I look at funding request from US city mayors with big spendings in the name of public safety, buying us city-wide surveillance, armored vehicles, drones and robots.
This is all under big red bald letters “Economic Recovery” and “Create Jobs Now”, a conference of mayors organized by the mayor of Miami in January 2009.
Cities across the country, according to America's Mayors report, have each submitted requests asking a total of $5,6 billion in federal funds (public money) for Public Safety jobs and technology programs. In comparison, Public Schools program requested budget is about $7.1 billion and Public Housing is only $2.5 billion.
Some of Public Safety programs are really creative. Take a look at the programs and the price tags:
“Surveillance Camera Network ‐ A citywide camera system will be installed to enhance the Department’s ability to respond to criminal activity and investigate crimes. (OPD). Funds would convert space in the Eastmont Police Station into a state of the art facility.”
In addition the city of Oakland is requesting $450,000,000 for the new Police Administration Building, “to replace seismically vulnerable and obsolete Admin Building.”
Install Surveillance Cameras System City‐Wide with Shot‐Spofer Technology
Charleston, SC = $4,000,000
Public Safety Public Safety Wi‐Fi and Video Surveillance System
North Richland Hills, TX = $3,500,000
Public Safety City Wide Surveillance Camera Project‐ Install cameras in areas of higher rates of crime and city property.
Salt Lake City, UT = $200,000
Public Safety Aerial surveillance drone to monitor crowd and event situa3ons; 1 officer and equipment.
Gary, IN = $750,000
Public Safety Police Equipment Moderniza3on: New launchers, new uniforms, tac3cal plates for our for our bullet proof vest,fire‐resistant suits, weaponry (sniper rifles and sub‐automa3c machine guns), recon robot, tac3cal camera,
tac3cal blankets, armored vehicle.
Arlington, TX = $1,600,000
Public Safety SWAT equipment (support vehicle, mobile command unit, explosive entry program, armored vehicle)
Seriously, is this what we need to spend money on?
If this is the price tag, I don't want to buy it. Do you?
How about we spend it on this?
* Public Schools
* Unemployment insurance
* Bailing out people out of high price mortgages
* Bailing out college students out of their educational loans
* Bailing out people out of high interest credit card bills
* Public parks
* Social services
* Health services
Must I continue the list?