Is the Safe-T Act causing police to militarize?

By: Diane Benjamin

Maybe Bloomington can acquire a tank next.

Tonight buying one of these is on the Consent Agenda:

This is a link to the documentation for this purchase:

The cost is $249,229. Watch the first video at that link. It shows a military operation, the exact opposite of de-escalation.

I know the County Sheriff has been thinking about forming a SWAT team. Since Bloomington budgeted this purchase, maybe they are now the lead agency.

Will seeing a military vehicle on the streets make you feel safer? Maybe since Illinois has decided accused criminals deserve to be instantly released without bail this is the Illinois’ future.

I wonder if a social worker will be riding along in the Bearcat?

No items are on the Regular Agenda so the meeting will be short. The documentation doesn’t say if the IT Department has figured out how to Live Stream the meeting from the BCPA either.

Link to entire meeting:

78 thoughts on “Is the Safe-T Act causing police to militarize?

  1. Ridiculous. The thinking behind such a purpose is a problem to be eliminated. This psychology of it all should be obvious. That’s it’s not is deeply disturbing. A symbol it gesture of a peaceful, safe and caring community this is not.

  2. Sounds like you should leave and take the people who warrant the need for this type of vehicle. Illinois, we let this thing get of of control and this is the result.

    1. My point is this kind of vehicle is not only unnecessary , but it’s representative of a whole span of questionable politics. And yes, I am leaving, because Illinois is a hotbed of questionable politics that exploit its citizens

  3. Agree Diane. Another sign that we are losing the glue (Trust) that holds democratic societies together.. It’s what happens when neighbors can not trust their neighbors.

    When it becomes more likely that your neighbor is an untrustworthy criminal (thanks to the Safe-T Act) and the police are militarizing their arms, what should the common citizen be lawfully doing?

  4. everyone needs a vehicle like this with the condition of the roads in bloomington…priorities

  5. perhaps something like that will be koos’ next vehicle when he tires of the taxpayer-supplied rivian

  6. City of Bloomington says they need it. City Manger says they need it. Police Chief says they need it. Legal Dept concurs they can have it .
    Quick vote on the consent agenda and this beauty will be rolling down the cratered and potholed streets of our home town.

    1. Mark Adams, Unit 5 School Board Member came out in a Pantagraph letter to the editor against the idea of investing in a swat team and this vehicle. His approach is to invest in mental health professionals in schools and 911 responding squad cars.

      I agree with him that more psychologists will be needed in schools. As they roll out their divisive equity ideology that pit identities against each other and confuse children by sexualizing them, they will need more mental health support.

      1. WTH? Why would you put institutionalized child abusers in charge of our children’s mental health? Our public schools knowingly *created* mental and social problems by pushing sexual dysphoria, narcissism, social isolation, and racial division. There’s no way they’ll undo all their hard work, and especially not risk the kids possibly figuring out the Source of their issues! At best, school-based mental health will be an expensive band-aid, and more likely they’ll be used to double down on the problems.

  7. Yep, you can bet Koos is eyeing one of these right now wondering if he can get it in powder blue pinstriped with rainbow colors.

  8. 🤯my only response to such a ridiculous purchase. I guess they can store it in the unused fire station.

    1. We should be so lucky. They just bought the shiniest new hammer for miles around – once bragging about that gets old, they’re Going to find a nail, or more likely declare you or me to be one.

  9. Wake up, people. We don’t live in Pleasantville. Take the time to sit down and actually speak with police officers/law enforcement administrators in our county….they are very committed to de-escalation techniques and doing everything they can to support mental health initiatives. This vehicle isn’t for those situations. This vehicle is for when someone or a group of people do something that significantly questions the safety of everyone. This vehicle is for when someone that is heavily armed starts shooting innocent people, or are a major threat to the community. They are using this to help keep us safe — not to bloat or show they are trying to militarize public safety. The Sheriff’s intention to partner with BPD on their Swat program is intended to help manage costs, strengthen law enforcement partnership/collaboration, and make sure ALL residents in McLean County are safe. It’s unfortunate that our society has a need for these types of vehicles, but they are 100% necessary at times. I bet if the use of these vehicles, or other tactics, help save you or your family, you won’t have such a hard time justifying their existence.

    1. We don’t live in Pleasantville, true. We live in B/N which has a documented history of police abusing their power at the behest of our elected officials.
      Yes, this might save lives in one of the scenarios you allude to – but our government is working to Create those scenarios rather than Prevent them. Why?
      A more sensible and effective approach would be to work on that prevention and actively promote responsible gun ownership. B/N needs to stop trying to become ‘Little Chicago’ and aspire to be more like “Don’t Try That In A Small Town”

  10. Nice ride. But then, officers will still at some point have to exit the vehicle to tend to criminal manners.

      1. Come on, guys….You’re smarter than that. These vehicles will allow officers/deputies to safely approach an active shooter situation reducing their risk of injury and death significantly. Look at their use with the 2010 Athens, TX shootout — a shooter fired 36 rounds from an AK-47 at one of these vehicles. The Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting…..Pulse Nightclub (used to breach the door) after the gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 others. These vehicles are tools of the trade that are necessary to deal with the evil in the world. Or….maybe we should just send in the mental heath professionals to deal with the people. Or….maybe just keep wishing it won’t happen in McLean County.

        1. “Just keep wishing it won’t happen in McLean County” can be used to justify Anything. Shall we build nuclear fallout bunkers on every block? Or maybe just under elected officials offices? Shall we fund an anti-sex-trafficking gestapo? Everything has risks, even just waking up in the morning. Weigh the risks, and act accordingly. For better or worse, in McLean County the risk of abuse of government power far exceeds the risk of an incident where this vehicle would be truly needed.

          1. @Karl
            I have to disagree with you on this one for a few reasons
            1. This is an assumption but I have to believe that the Chief of Police has information about current criminal activity, national trends and other advice that caused him to take this direction for good cause not just because he wanted a cool swat vehicle. I am sure there are things about our quiet little community that he knows and we don’t.

            2. And looking at national trends, flash mobs of young looters is becoming a thing. National crime rates continues to escalate. Gun ownership is increasing for good reason. Given all of that the risk of out of control conflict is increasing not decreasing.

            3. Our education system has decided it’s more important to turn out justice warriors than competent scholars. That kind of education is bound to give us some number of unstable and very radicalized young people looking to wreck havoc on a nation and community that they find contemptible.

            4. We live 2 hours from Chicago and have two colleges in town one of which is likely to have a few professors that would love to see something happen to justify the very divisive leftist ideology they teach. Another assumption but it’s something to consider.

            5. The chief warned us that the Safe T act will put an undue burden on his force. Should he not compensate for that injustice?

            6. Is it better to have one of these vehicles just in case, or wish you had one when you have to order your people into the middle of a hot conflict?

            1. Re #1, the more likely scenario is an influential somebody thought this was cool (perhaps the chief himself) and convinced him to support getting one. Nonetheless your assumption is not unreasonable so I’d say one point for you.
              But #2-5 all support My position. Nobody seems to want to address the Why of ‘we might need this soon’, and just skip to ‘so let’s get one’.
              #6 Is it better to have one of these around when you send people into a conflict? Depends on who has it. I’m not alone in saying ‘No, because it’s more likely to be used Against people I care about than in support of them.’ See my post (much) further down.

  11. All of the “they can use this vehicle for this or that” could very easily turn into not using it for the purposes it was allegedly bought for just exactly like when Unit 5 voters said NO to the tax hike that the Administration and Teachers of the district sold out the parents to with the idea that their taxes won’t get raised and all of their children won’t have band or sports if you don’t say YES and then they gave themselves all raises and our taxes are going up anyway. Be careful what you are promised what “it” can be used for. I’ve recently been told I apparently want a bunch of dead cops if I don’t want this Bearcat on my streets. Anything to sell the idea and then switch it later. We all know what that’s called. We all should also know that Bloomington and Normal are selling all of us out for Progressive Ideas and if Molly Ward wanted this so bad why in the world would any self proclaimed Conservative buy that it’s for our own good just because our side is the Law and Order side? We shouldn’t question things?? Tug a few heart strings, tell a couple tall tales, throw a dead cop or two stories in and you have a militarized police force the Unit 5 kids can play their instruments for. Our own “rich men north of Richmond” know exactly what they are doing because they planned it all. They are in coordination with JB and Biden. You will own nothing and you will be happy or you will find yourself like the Maui residents.

  12. Remember where the term “militarize the police” came from? It came from the democrats at a time they were encouraging rioting and burning of cities. They were bailing out antifa. They were applauding when police were killed. Think they won’t do it again? Think it won’t happen here? 2024 is coming, think again.

  13. It’s just so strange to me how we go from the City Council wanting to Defund the Police to spending a quarter of a million dollars to protect a few. I guess my question is, with only one Bearcat, how many police officers lives would be saved in this hypothetical death scenario that’s being prophesied by FromHere that it will come here? If we are protecting the cops now instead of the other way around then I suggest we have them turn in their squad cars and drive these instead. How is one going to save all of their lives when in this hypothetical scenario all Democrats just start picking off the cops?? Perhaps it’s time to wake up a little more FromHere. Broaden your mind to the idea that it’s not all about the police. It’s about The People. We are The People. And when you are, you see the world through that lens and don’t need to think about people killing cops because you think about the fact there is proof everyday our own government wants all of us dead including the Democrats.

    1. I bet if the “few” was you or your family/friends, you wouldn’t have a problem with that $250,000. Our government wants us “dead”? Becky, if you received a college education, contact the institution that issued you the degree and ask for a refund. It’s obvious you did not grasp the concept of critical thinking, which is what the education was supposed to help you with.

        1. Touche’, Diane. They get points deducted for not asking the question of the manufacturer if a “gun safe” was actually good to store guns in. I may not have done the same. I’m sure it was embarrassing for them as well, but they had positive intentions. But please don’t let that situation/topic lose confidence in us supporting the agency’s intentions of keeping people safe. Are they going to make mistakes? Sure. Hopefully, they learn from them and not repeat the same ones over and over again.

      1. Fall of the Cabal on Rumble. They’ve dropped over 20 episodes. There’s no better free education for any human being on this planet who found themselves in a government lockdown because of the flu and watched the election stolen in front of their eyes. It sheds light on pizza gate, the Covid vax, McDonald’s & our food supply, the entertainment industry, and how the government and the elite don’t just want us dead they are killing all of us from the moment we are born. My passion is to wake up others during the Great Awakening as my God gave a powerful and clear direct order to my family to BE LOUD several months before the whole world heard my voice. I do not think for one second that my Father didn’t orchestrate that entire night. Many who were there can’t explain how demonic the presence felt but yet how in perfect timing each person came and delivered powerful speeches to stand up to the evil agenda of abusing and grooming children in our schools. I have a calling on my life that took place after I received my higher education. Unfortunately in spite of your attempt to offend me, I am pleased to report I cannot ask for any refunds. I have two college degrees that I never paid for thanks in part to my staunch lifelong conservative stances against abortion. I am a teen mom and *gasp* sometimes young women who currently need beat in sports find ways like scholarships to pull ourselves up from situations and persevere instead of suck the life out of another human we are stronger than to get where we want to go. Post higher educations, I then chose to go to Bible School and educate myself on what my Savior wants me to do, who He is, and what He has done and is going to do. When you study the Bible and learn Who Jesus is, you appear to others as foolish so I thank you for showing me that He is still using me. And much to my dismay, He wants me out here getting mocked in an effort to “wake them up.” I don’t have to ask Him for a refund, He promises to give so much more to those that keep His Word.

        1. RE the government and the elite don’t just want us dead they are killing all of us from the moment we are born

          This is the typical popular misdirecting false victim narrative which goes like this — the problem is the people at the top, the “good people” making up the public are just victims of their schemes —the bogus equation of the criminal shadow government vs. the innocent public. In that FALSE self-lying equation it is just a matter of “draining the swamp” at the top and we’re back to our former (“healthy”=destructive) “normal.” This fake narrative or fantasy is, of course, appealing to the masses, removing their culpability in the many past and present atrocities committed by “homo sapiens.” It’s why the “experts” disseminating this fantasy become popular and influential…

          The fact that evil people rule is only ONE part of the equation. The pack of leading criminals do not operate in a vacuum, and never have. There are 2 destructive human pink elephants in the room and they are MARRIED — study the free essay “The 2 Married Pink Elephants In The Historical Room”… (or

          The criminals in power are in those positions and do what they do ONLY because of the mostly willful activities, or inactivities, of the majority of self-entitled “good” or “compassionate” or “enlightened” or “religious” people — the 90-95% of the herd.

          “Our current ‘state’ is the dictatorship of evil. We know that already, I hear you object, and we don’t need you to reproach us for it yet again. But, I ask you, if you know that, then why don’t you act? Why do you tolerate these rulers gradually robbing you, in public and in private, of one right after another, until one day nothing, absolutely nothing, remains but the machinery of the state, under the command of criminals and drunkards?” (from a White Rose Pamphlet, the ‘White Rose’ was a German resistance group fighting Hitler’s Nazi regime)

          Isn’t it about time for anyone to wake up to the ULTIMATE DEPTH of the human rabbit hole — rather than remain blissfully willfully ignorant in a narcissistic fantasy land and play victim like a little child?

          Without a proper understanding, and full acknowledgment, of the true WHOLE problem and reality, no real constructive LASTING change is possible for humanity.

          And if anyone does NOT acknowledge, recognize, and face (either wittingly or unwittingly) the WHOLE truth THEY are helping to prevent this from happening. And so they are “part of the problem” and not part of the solution.

          If you have been injected with Covid jabs/bioweapons and are concerned, then verify what batch number you were injected with at

  14. Becky – you call increasing violence nationwide a “hypothetical death scenario”? Where have you been? And as police are being demonized, attacked and killed every day you have a problem with them wanting to protect themselves when they are heading into a hot conflict…… to protect us? They don’t do their jobs to protect themselves.
    I hope you don’t’ start chanting “no justice, no peace” and call the Bloomington Police force racists as some in this community have.

  15. This idea wasn’t sold to the community because of increasing violence against the police nationwide. And because I don’t want that militarized vehicle on the streets does not mean I want dead cops or want to chant about any dead cops. We don’t have to jump so far to make a point. But since we are jumping, what protects us from Maui happening here??

      1. I’m jumping to the comment by John about Champaign having these militarized vehicles and according to John not using them the way you are trying to suggest. Or how about the 74 year old man gunned down in his own house by the FBI this week who arrived in that vehicle. I’ll also jump over to Australia where they used these militarized vehicles to pull up and beat the holy crap out of citizens refusing to be vaccinated. I am exceptionally good at box jumps. We can keep going if you would like. I need to maintain a level of athleticism to deal with running for my life because my government wants to burn down our vehicles to replace them with Rivians but I have no ocean to jump into. I haven’t planned this all out but rest assured that Mboka, Simington, and Koos have.

        1. So let me summarize then. You think that if Bloomington gets one of these vehicles both Bloomington and Normal police will start beating and shooting innocent citizens, illegally breaking into homes, force us to buy EV’s (at gunpoint I assume)? That basically the police force will become lawless and take orders from the the city councils to not protect but attack the community? WOW! that is a monumental leap.

          I’m surprised at you Becky. You are parroting the exact same ideology and talking points that not just the democrats, not just leftists, but radical antifa level leftists used in the summer of love to try to force the police to stand down in the places they wanted to burn to the ground.

          “Militarized Police” (a fake description) was a signal to their kind that it was OK to take a baseball bat to police, it was OK to annex parts of cities and install their own police force, it was OK to lock the doors of a police station and set it on fire with people inside. You are falling for that now?

          How the world has changed.

            1. As government policy grows freedoms decrease. This vehicle will not change government policy. They still have to live by lawful actions or pay the consequences.

              I’m starting to worry. Please explain what you think is going to happen to our police force when they get this vehicle.

            1. Maybe we should ask for disbandment of all swat teams. Or disarm the police force. That’s your logic.

              That’s a paranoia too far for me.

                1. Your logic is saying that. That the real problem has nothing to do with what kind of equipment is available to the police to go dark. It is that we can’t trust the local police anymore and that the police are just itching to get an armored vehicle to get out and raise heck. Is that what you believe?

                    1. Sorry Diane I don’t believe purchasing an AV sets the stage for anything. And I really can’t believe your 180 degree turn on policing.
                      The left is right?

        2. My goodness, Becky. I certainly hope your political campaign, strategic thought processes, critical thinking, and international viewpoints can help save us all from law enforcement in McLean County keeping us all safe. Curious…have you actually ever sat down with the Sheriff, Chief, or heck, any law enforcement administrator to actually understand their viewpoint, or are your opinions/perspectives completely one-sided all the time?

          1. I tried desperately to sit down with Sandage specifically after Merrick Garland threatened to round up all School Board Moms and I sat and watched Barry Reilly assign BPD to have not just the resource officer present but then several police officers while I was on the mic. I called Sandage, had my husband text Sandage, I asked to make an appt with him with whoever answered the phone. Have I tried? Absolutely. I wanted to know, if Merrick Garland gives the orders to have the FBI pick me up for going viral during a school board meeting which is clearly what the letter Merrick sent to the National School Board Association entailed, will your deputies be assisting Mr Garland or will Normal PD? No response to me at a never happened “sit down.” I’m also curious how my presence in DC on January 6 plays out in our Sheriffs office if after indicting my President 8 times, is that when you will send the Bearcat down my street? What’s the magic indictment number before rounding up “The People”?? I do want answers. What I’ve found is, he “isn’t available at this time when you call and have grave concerns about your own safety during The Biden Regime vs The Constitution. Unfortunately when you want to know from the Sheriff if he will turn on you for the First Amendment, he’s unavailable until he retires. Our new Sheriff, I’ve not been threatened by the FBI under. I would be “jumping” to ask silly questions to him. However Normal Police has stated that they will NOT follow an unlawful order but that wasn’t your question now was it?

  16. Champaign has one of these. They’re well known for their SWAT team just loving no knock warrants and an overwhelming use of force including flash bangs in homes including those with small children inside. It’s almost like they like to play Soldier instead of just waiting for the bad guy to go to the grocery store or to be loitering on the street doing whatever it is they’re doing.

    I’m very pro LE, but I don’t support the police acting like they’re in Fallujah instead of a neighborhood in their own community.

  17. I’m beginning to think that no matter who we put a gold badge on, they will never win. If they take actions to do what they think is necessary to keep people safe (including their officers), people will say “too much government.” If they don’t take the action and then something happens, people will say “they didn’t do their job in protecting us”. They just can’t win. How about this — give a little respect and autonomy to the people that are in the role, trying to do the right thing, and have done research to support their decisions. They aren’t making these decisions in complete isolation — these are smart, dedicated public servants who are trying to keep us safe. Does that mean we shouldn’t continue to invest in other strategies/approaches that help with mental health/de-escalation? Absolutely not. We will and should. I know some politicians/government leaders make it hard to come in with the “assume positive intentions”, but let’s not be so quick to criticize — talk to them, understand their perspectives and research. If you disagree, that’s fine, but at least acknowledge they are trying to do the right thing.

    1. “At least acknowledge that they are trying to do the right thing.” Problem is, that trying seems to be the Exception, not the rule. I’ve frequently seen elected officials make misleading statements, sometimes state bald-faced lies, and on rare occasion commit actual crimes in the course of their duties. And never with any intention towards doing the right thing, but for their own personal advancement or power.
      And ‘trying to do the right thing’ without ever questioning that thing is Not ‘doing the right thing’! We should never have shut down our schools for the virus hysteria. Doing so in spring of 20 imo Does fall under ‘trying to do the right thing’ because scientific evidence was being actively suppressed so it was hard to know better. But continuing do so after the evidence showed that lockdowns were causing more harm than the virus, especially to younger populations, was at best ‘going along to get along’ to the detriment of our kids, which is Not ‘doing the right thing’.

              1. You can do that without an AV.
                Diane, what you are describing is a much, much deeper issue. You are in effect accusing the local police force and the Chief of Police of being or becoming lawless. If that were the case I would be first to call for radical change including prosecution for abuse of power. Denying the purchase of an AV then would be like treating a symptom not the disease.

                I’ll leave it at this. I support the use of an AV for one reason. The very best way to end a violent, deadly confrontation is by the presence of overwhelming force. Just the presence of an AV has been shown to end a violent hostage situation with no gun fire. They have been used to rescue innocent people in the middle of gun fights. It’s meant to save lives not take them. I think that’s the purpose of this purchase.

                You will say but what about the next Chief? What might they do with an AV. In that case we really should disband all swat teams with battering rams, and defund the police force in anticipation of that too.

  18. Those who support this purchase need to look at the history of how revolutions are orchestrated.
    – Propaganda war to stir general unease – check
    – Demonize some group(s) of ‘unpeople’ – check
    – Work to get ‘your people’ into positions to control firepower – in progress
    – Recruit useful idiots to incite violence – check
    – Use violence as excuse to ramp up use of force <- you are here
    – Make excuses to continue use of force to subdue general population <- what we want to avoid

    1. Karl, we’re barking up the wrong tree here. I’m pretty sure the Bloomington Chief of Police isn’t on this track. If you have evidence to the contrary please, please let me know. I’ll be right beside you.

      1. You see only today’s police chief and the today’s potential threat; in that context your position is completely understandable. But some of us see the larger context and the predictable outcome.
        Yours is like the “Communism is good; the problem is it hasn’t been done right yet!” argument. Even if the person you give too much power to is literally a Saint with saints under them, eventually they will be replaced, whether by nefarious plot or change-of-mind or literal death-by-natural-causes, leaving that too much power in less-than-saintly hands. A bad idea doesn’t have to be bad from day one – Learning to fly by jumping off a cliff is Great idea for a few seconds, but if one pays attention to the predictable outcome, not so much.

        1. Well then Karl I would say you must make your voice heard today for the disarmament (defunding or choking of current funding) of the police force in anticipation of your prediction that someday some anarchist will be coming to power. That is the only proper response for you. The only difference between you and the antifa of today is that they believe the police are already anarchists and should be shut down, and you believe they will be in the future and should be throttled now. What is your next step?

          1. Not at all. Police need a certain level of power and equipment to do their jobs, regardless of whether one likes who they report to or not. Beyond that there is concern for abuse. If somebody you know suffers a home invasion, most people are okay with the homeowner having a gun for self defense, with less and less approval as one ramps up to a belt-fed machine gun, a rocket launcher, or a low-yield nuclear weapon. Just because I may not think they should use those ‘enhanced home defense options’ doesn’t mean I think the family should go to bed pre-hog-tied with ‘victim inside’ posted on each bedroom door.
            Especially when there’s a real-world option to greatly reduce both the gangs and the marauding.

            1. I understand what you are saying. Two things Karl and we can agree to disagree.
              1. We cannot make current policy decisions (like what police spend money on) based on the fear of an unknown and very unlikely future abuse. We cannot be “helicopter citizens” when it comes to those that are sworn to protect us.
              2. Another analogy – A Strong military force is essential for a peaceful, successful and free America. Yes there have been abuses there too but that fact still remains IMHO. I suspect you may disagree, but that’s fine.

Leave a Reply