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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Magic bus

Christmas arrived early for the MBTA police force -- or at least the 24-member civil disturbance unit.

The 13-passenger, $100,000 bus is the ultimate police toy -- done up in conspiracy theorist black, four surveillance cameras and an "elite unit" complete with $20,000 of new body armor, shields, and an arsenal of tear gas and pepper-spray grenades. The Full Toy Cop Fantasy also includes .40-caliber Sig Sauer pistols, long batons, foam, punch-proof vests, and bags full of shin, elbow, and forearm guards.

This modest, self-effacing unit doesn't want to call itself "elite" for fear of offending the special ops and motorcycle cops. And they want to assure the riding public that:
"It used to be about bringing out the dogs, hats, bats, and cracking heads," (Sgt. Chris) Maynard said. "That's not what we're about."
So what are they about exactly? People who don't swipe their CharlieCard properly?

The Toy Cop Unit was forced as a response to the realization they had no effective means to deal with the civil disobedience that never developed at the Democratic National Convention. The fact there has never been a need for them and they have set off an arms race with competing police agencies is irrelevant.

So now they are ready to deal with the next Red Sox celebration. After all, the Plexiglas can stop a Roger Clemens fastball. As Sgt. Maynard notes:
"It stops everything but firearms."
Well duh. Am I the only one who sees a problem with that? Why not a fully equipped rail car with a special posse on horseback? Pull into the station, blow the whistle and let them loose?

It worked in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. But then again the horses didn't need to get up the stairs or through the turnstiles.

Just more evidence that Grabauskas must go.

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Anonymous Joel Patterson said...



What a waste of money.

November 25, 2007 5:22 PM  

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