Thursday, March 16, 2006

Storm-battered parish considers hired guns

Just what we need—hired mercenaries replacing police here in the US.
Three Blackwater guards working with FEMA helped patrol a security checkpoint with the deputies, and when the department got a call about a bar fight nearby that could involve a gun, some of the contractors came along to help, said Lt. Jefferson Lee, a 21-year veteran of the department. "They were making $300 a day, but those guys had my back."

The proposal to work with DynCorp would be a more permanent solution, lasting up to three years. Under the plan, DynCorp employees working for the sheriff's department would take over security at several FEMA trailer sites and establish three highway checkpoints. The DynCorp guards would report directly to a sheriff's deputy, who would be on site to supervise them, said Tufaro.

The department did not hold a competition before recommending DynCorp for the work but would consider other contactors if FEMA recommended it, said Tufaro. The department thinks DynCorp is the cheapest alternative, noting that it would charge less than $700 per day, compared with the $950 a day charged by Blackwater, he said.

You'd think the reason hired mercenaries would be called in might be because there are insufficient police, right? And the reason there'd be insufficient police would be, oh, maybe, because there's insufficient money? So where does the money come to pay DynCorp or Blackwater either $950 or $700 per day? Is that really cheaper than paying real police, who are used to dealing with civilians instead of armies?

A little farther along we find the answer...
Tufaro [of the Sherriff's department] thinks the parish has the solution: DynCorp International LLC, the Texas company that provided personal security to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and is one of the largest security contractors in Iraq. If the Federal Emergency Management Agency approves the sheriff's department's proposal, which would cost $70 million over three years, up to 100 DynCorp employees would be deputized to be make arrests, carry weapons, and dress in the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Department khaki and black uniforms.
Let's think now. $70M over three years for up to 100 employees. That's $233,333 per year per employee. Such a deal!

To Tufaro and other law enforcement officials, St. Bernard Parish is facing an emergency. Money dried up so fast after Katrina hit that Sheriff Jack Stephens, an imposing, 6-foot-4-inch New Orleans native, took out a loan of more than $4 million on behalf of the department, which he says he would be held personally responsible for if he left office before its repayment. "It is what I had to do," he said.


But while the plan is for the DynCorp employees to eat and live with the other deputies in the same trailer camp, the hired guns would earn "significantly more" than the $18,000 annual salary of an entry-level deputy and the $30,000-a-year salary of a seasoned officer.
Police would be cheaper. Just like outsourcing military jobs in Iraq, we end up paying more—and frequently gets worse service.

From Kurt Nimmo's blog about mercenaries:
Now law enforcement is increasingly militarized and military duties are jobbed out to the likes of DynCorp and Blackwater. “These guys run loose in this country [Iraq] and do stupid stuff. There’s no authority over them, so you can’t come down on them hard when they escalate force,” Brigadier General Karl Horst, deputy commander of the Third Infantry Division in charge of security in Baghdad, complained in September, 2005. “They shoot people, and someone else has to deal with the aftermath. It happens all over the place.”
The whole blog entry is mind-boggling. Read it.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Web Site Counters
Staples Coupons