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We are so honored to welcome local author Radley Balko for a discussion and siging of his latest work, Rise of the Warrior Cop.
Radley Balko is an award-winning investigative journalist who writes about civil liberties, police, and the broader criminal justice system for the Huffington Post. In his new book, RISE OF THE WARRIOR COP: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces, Balko investigates the disturbing rise of paramilitary police forces and the immense threat they pose to our civil liberties. In just the past 40 years, Balko explains, American law enforcement has come to be dominated by elite teams of paramilitary police. “Today in America SWAT teams violently smash into private homes more than one hundred times per day,” he notes. Far from the days of the public service-oriented "Officer Friendly” model, “police departments across the country now sport armored personnel carriers designed for use on a battlefield,” Balko writes. “Some have helicopters, tanks, and Humvees. They carry military-grade weapons. Most of this equipment comes from the military itself. Many SWAT teams today are trained by current and former personnel from special forces units like the Navy Seals or Army Rangers.”
Backed up by unbelievable statistics, original reporting, and interviews with current and former police officials, RISE OF THE WARRIOR COP explains how American policing has become a system of volatile, adrenaline-fueled tactics, where “shoot first, ask questions later” is all too often the norm. Balko warns of its threat to our society and our security, and describes how to reform the system to keep our communities safe from criminals and police alike.