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Mark Hemingway:

Last fall, I was reporting on a story about Blackwater USA — the private military company. Though Blackwater is chiefly known for the mercenary/security work they’re doing in Afghanistan and Iraq, they also do a lot of military and law enfocement (sic) traing on their 7,500 acre compound in North Carolina. At the compound they even have an abandoned school bus and an entire firing range modeled after a high school(!) for SWAT training.

Anyway, I was interviewing one of Blackwater’s vice-president’s and I noticed that he had Radley’s Cato report on paramilitary police raids on his desk. I asked about it and from the ensuing conversation and I can tell you that Radley’s work was being taken seriously within the law enforcement training world.

Unfortunately, it’s not being taken as seriously within police departments. Later I asked the president of Blackwater CEO Erik Prince about the company’s law enforcement training business. He told me that almost all of the law enforcement training they do is for police officers and SWAT team members that are paying for their own training.

I think instead of armored vehicles and expensive optics that they put on wrong, a little training would go much further.

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