I’m pretty much a huge fan of the GPD. They’ve saved my butt a bunch of times and have always been practical and professional in my interactions with them. Too professional, even. There have been times when I really wanted to see them beat the shit out of some shirtless asshole they were arresting after spending way, way, too long trying to rationalize with a dude who can’t even figure out the basics of torso coverage. Check out my homage to them and how I don’t think they are anything like the out-of-control play-soldiers in Ferguson MO here.
But for a while I’ve been wondering, and in light of the recent events in Missouri I think it’s now worth asking:
Can someone explain why we have not one, but fucking two military-grade HUMVEES sitting out in the police parking lot?
What are those things doing here in G-town? What possible practical purpose could they serve? And how is that purpose better served by not one, but two of them? Are we planning on some kind of scenario where the police, who now have multiple SUVs, trucks ATVs and that faux Segway thing that looks like something out of the 1980s Dr. Who series, cannot hack it with the vehicles on hand and need to deploy not one, but a pair of jacked-up war-surplus utility combat vehicles? Are there also crossbows and flamethrowers? What. The. Hell. (Note: Don’t even start with “snow” okay? Snow-equipped vehicles have shit like plows and winches and that’s really the Fire Department anyway. This is the police.)
The worst thing about them from the perspective of Gloucester Police is, in a word, optics. We don’t need our police force looking like a military outfit, because they don’t act like one. Unlike what we’re seeing out in Missouri, as I said above, our cops are completely different. So looking like a military-equipped police force has become, like so many things where one bad group ruins it for everyone, over. It’s like how hipsters ruined wolf sweatshirts forever.
I assume we can’t get rid of them. So what to do? We here at your beloved The Clam are all about solutions. So if we can’t get rid of them, how about we pimp them? Thus, The Clam offers some solutions for our police parking lot to make it appear less like a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan circa 2003.
OPTION 1: PINK IS THE NEW CAMO How can you feel threatened by anything this adorable? I recommend gluing pink felt all over both vehicles Then it’s like, this isn’t a tactical response, it’s a tactile one!
OPTION 2: STEAMPUNK We’ve already explored how the police have moved beyond the practical to pure optics, so why not go all the way? Zeppelins; hot, tattooed, half-Asian chicks in corsets; impractical weaponry. The GPD could embrace both the arts and Geek communities in one simple stroke. And no one is intimidated by Steampunks. Once you put on knickers and a tophat festooned with brass telescopes, your threat posture evaporates.
OPTION 3: DELICIOUS CANDY So the primary use of these vehicles is for the Horribles Parade? Then go all the way and just coat the thing in gumballs.
OPTION 4: FRENCH BAZOOKA VESPAS Look, I’m going to level with you guys here. Sometimes at your The Clam the image tail manages to wag the content dog, as it were. I don’t really have much more to say about how this would work for the GPD, I just really googled “impractical military vehicles” and saw this then found I really liked writing the words FRENCH BAZOOKA VESPAS in all caps. Also FRENCH BAZOOKA VESPA would be a funny name for an absurdist comedy troupe. Also: Owl Stretching Time.
OPTION 5: LEGO Even the most terrifying looking vehicles become family-friendly fun when made out of the creative bricks from Denmark. Out in Ferguson everything is awful. But with Lego-styled Hummers, in Gloucester everything is awesome!
Ok, that’s it. Submit your ideas to make our local enforcement vehicles more approachable and less reprochable in the comments.
Oh, and note to military-hardware pedants: I know that it’s a recoilless rifle on the Vespa, not a bazooka. Save your breath.
Write ‘Bait For Sale’ on the sides.
I think those vehicles are being held in reserve until the Mayor needs a new company car.
Follow this link and type in ESSEX in the “List” Search Bar and you’ll see an inventory of all the military Equipment that’s been gathered by the Essex County Police Dept’s… There are several pages of automatic weapons and even ” Bayonets ! All gathered in the dark and awaiting and giddily awaiting god knows what…
I could be corrected but I believe they were acquired military surplus to give PD ability to go into woods in Dogtown and W-G for whatever the reason. Also for emergency use in case of extreme weather or other issue that might make regular vehicle traffic impractable. I think of the back shore after the Blizzard of 78 and the Perfect Storm. That said,using them for parades, Fiesta, etc. keeps them running……..A drone could probably do most of this much cheaper.now…maybe they will be available as surplus in the near future.
I think the “emergency use” argument works if they belonged to the FD, not the PD. I’m sure they are great for hauling gear out into remote places, but that’s not what the cops do. The PD has trucks, SUVs and ATVs. Seems like enough to get anywhere around here. Use for parades and Fiesta- ok, but what does that show: GPD has Humvees- is parading military equipment a mission of the PD? I’m cool if the FD has one as a utility vehicle. As a PD vehicle, it becomes iffy in my opinion.
I propose making them gay pride floats.
Yarn bomb. That’s a military term right?
I think the GPD has a surplus in their fuel budget. So they drive these around the Cape a few times, and BOOM surplus is history.
Cha-cha-cha chia Hummer!
I’m sure our elected officials would respond, “but we got free money from the Federal Government!”. Like any money from the government is free. And there lies our problem.
In the very heady days following September 2001, the federal government under the direction of G. W. Bush was making available all manner of mechanized weaponry to cities “at risk”. In keeping with the same mindset that Gloucester uses to steal slogans from tragedies (Farm Aid/Fish Aid, Boston Strong/Gloucester Strong etc.) the GPD at that time under very different ‘leadership’ looked around at the total absence of jihadist militants and said to themselves “We gotta get us some free Humvee’s!”. After officer Steve Lame-embarrassment got a cruiser intractably stuck while chasing after teens in Dogtown…again…the Hummers seemed a great idea. But shortly thereafter the iPhone was invented and now kids no longer do anything outside their coverage area, least of all keggers in Dogtown. So the Humvee’s sit with grass growing around their tires and rust eating at the corners and will likely become a curiousity as the oil dries up. They may one day join the legions of monster pickups in this town with bed-liners so clean you can lick them, that carry their one noisy occupant to and from Dunkin’s twice a day, as they overwhelm junkyards from Newbury to Salem. And those poor fellows will have to put baseball cards in their spokes like they did when they were kids, or risk not calling attention to themselves.
I’d like to fill them with concrete and set them up in Grant Circle like a giant version of the “Mass Mudders” display off exit 14.