Put the berries down and no one gets hurt
Pesky berry ninjas
R. Neal brings to our attention the police reaction to Floridians poaching berries:
For berry patrol, each deputy dons green fatigues or camouflage, army boots, a black motorcycle helmet or military “Bonnie Hat,” heavy duty gloves, and a belt with bush necessities: automatic pistol, taser, pepper spray, baton, night-vision goggles, infrared binoculars, high-powered flashlight, cell phone, bullet pack and infrared strobe light, “so that violators don’t notice when we signal a helicopter,” says John Gibson, a member of the unit.
To roam the badlands, the deputies use six all-terrain vehicles and six 4-by-4 off-roaders. Most impressive are two Ford F250s, with their 38-inch tires, heavy duty winches and satellite antennas. They hit speeds of 90 mph, though speeding in dense brush is generally avoided, Gibson adds, “because it’s hard to stop them once you get them going.”
Each off-roader comes with a laptop, printer, and GPS mapping capability. (“It’s easy to get lost in the bush,” Robinson says. “There are no road signs – well, no roads either.”) Twelve-gauge shotguns are stowed in a floor case; collapsible, AR-15 “Bushmasters,” as the semiautomatic rifles are known, are fixed to the ceiling for easy access.
And then there’s the Encore – a jeep, normally built for the military, that can drive for miles through swamps, submerged.
I’ve addressed how the militarization of our police force concerns me before. This is just another example. You don’t use shotguns as flyswatters.