Can America Be The World’s Maine Game Warden?

 

maine-game-wardens-find-missing-childrenRecently, one of my esteemed fellow Ricophiles said the following: “Our armed forces should be the most efficient in the world at killing people and breaking things.”

Though I probably wouldn’t use such hair-raising terms, I agree. Sometimes, the only thing that can make a very bad situation marginally better is a whole lot of lethal force, energetically applied.

However, the reality is that our armed forces are already being used for other things … namely, humanitarian response in the aftermath of natural disasters. We should have our troops do more of this, more deliberately, and with a whole lot more fanfare.

As I discovered when my son became a Marine, the military is deployed on humanitarian missions across the world for one simple yet suggestive reason: the American military has an astonishing ability to marshal and deploy large numbers of motivated, skilled, physically and mentally fit young people (mostly men). We’ve developed this ability so as to send these young people into combat, but the skills are transferable to other emergencies, such as when there’s an earthquake in Haiti or a tsunami in Japan.

I don’t know all that much about the workings of the military, but I know about law enforcement, and especially about the work of game wardens in Maine and other states.

My humble suggestion, or fantasy, is that the United States military should serve not as the world’s policeman, but as the world’s game warden.

This is not as pacifistic as it sounds. (I’m not a pacifist.) Game wardens have guns, and they know how to use them. Few are aware of this, but Connecticut game wardens were among the first law enforcement officers on-scene at the Sandy Hook massacre, and in a splendid demonstration of “improvise, adapt and overcome,” they secured the scene, formed a perimeter, and helped evacuate the surviving children. Had Adam Lanza not already been dead, they would have terminated him without hesitation and with extreme prejudice.

Do we have a barricaded gunman? An active shooter? A bunch of Sovereign Citizens? Game wardens have the training, equipment, and flexibility to respond even to novel, ambiguous, or fluid situations with the use of force.

Has a Girl Scout troop gone missing in the woods? Is there a desperate family hoping their drowned child’s body can be recovered? Has a big swathe of Aroostook County gone under water in spring floods, stranding and endangering civilians? Is the continued existence of the endangered piping plover threatened? You name the emergency, and the chances are good that game wardens can handle it.

I vividly remember when, during a flood in northern Maine, a Maine game warden commandeered a front-end loader to scoop people out of the second floor window of their flooded house.

“But how did you know how to operate a front end loader?” I asked. He just smiled and shrugged. These guys can do anything!

Our troops can do anything, too. They can kill people and break stuff, but they can also rescue people and build stuff — they always have been able to do these things. They have always served as first responders, but we don’t acknowledge, advertise, or celebrate this as much as we should.

In fact, I imagine a bunch of our extra battleships being retrofitted (preferably at the Bath Iron Works — jobs for Mainers!) to serve as hospital ships, resupply ships and emergency evacuation vessels. “UNITED STATES NAVY: EMERGENCY RESPONSE VESSEL” should be written in big letters on the side of such ships, and there should be a big ceremonial fuss made when they are launched — the first lady or first gentleman smacking a bottle of champagne upside the hull, lots of Tweets and posts and whatnot — so that the US receives maximum publicity for the good works we’ve been doing all along.

Some of you might object that openly preparing, equipping, training, and using troops as first responders would dull our fighting edge. My response would be as follows: First, we’re already doing it, so why not reap the PR benefits? America needs (and deserves) a reputation for showing up when people are in trouble.

Second, if we need to have a professional armed force in readiness whether we’re actually fighting a war or not, humanitarian responses to natural disasters offer valuable opportunities for gaining experience, so we can maintain at least the ancillary skills that a military deployment demands. Among the issues that plagued the start of the First Gulf War, to name one example, was a lack of practical experience in moving men and materiel from point A to point B.

Third, if American parents knew that a son or daughter who joined the military would be primarily responding to humanitarian disasters (“helping people”), even liberal parents might have fewer qualms. (I speak from experience on this).

This could have the happy effect of increasing enlistment but also enhancing ideological diversity and not only in the ranks, but in liberal-land, as those who have served alongside conservative comrades leave the service and rejoin their families and peers. The wisdom gained from exposure to a wider variety of human situations is sorely needed in liberal-land. (Again, I speak from experience!)

Operation Unified Response, which followed the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, is a good example. Despite accusations from predictable quarters that the US was using the earthquake as an excuse to occupy Haiti, the results were pretty spectacular from the point of view of those we helped, and a source of pride and joy for those who served.

“As we close our time in support of Operation Unified Response-Haiti, I look back with great pride on the contributions the Navy and Marine Corps team made to the people of Haiti,” said Lt. Col. Robert Fulford, the commanding officer for Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. “We represented the heart and compassion of the United States, directly translating into tangible impacts in the lives we touched — from Petit Goave, Grand Goave, Leogane and Carrefour.”

Helping people — representing the heart and compassion of the United States — is satisfying in a way that breaking stuff and killing people (let alone merely training to break and kill, but never actually doing it) isn’t, however necessary it might be. I’ve met Marines who have served in both Iraq and Haiti, and they talk about Haiti in a very, very different way — helping people who really need your help makes memories that feed rather than drain the soul.

Yes, I know: Blowing things up can be fun (my son, generally a gentle man, found it so). But helping people is joyful. Being recognized as a source of help and a representative of a compassionate nation is deeply fulfilling.

But what about the problem of evil in the world?

Obviously, one could hope that the US’s response to humanitarian disasters might help set a new and different standard for what a superpower ought to be doing with that super power. Apparently, there was chagrin in European circles when the US proved able and willing to help Haitians in a way that the Europeans had not; the world could do worse than enter into a game of humanitarian one-upmanship, where Putin’s Russia competes with the EU and the US for the “most compassionate and least evil” prize.

Still, as I say, I’m not a pacifist. And, as my son assured me, “Every Marine is a rifleman, Mom.”

So every member of the armed forces should continue to be trained in the basic skills of the warrior, even if some might go on to develop a speciality in, say, organizing post-disaster refugee camps, controlling disease vectors, or PTSD-prevention. Just as any large American law enforcement agency has a SWAT team whose specialty is overwhelming force, the military would retain units whose sole concentration would be developing expertise in killing people and breaking things. Should a war break out, they would form the nucleus of what could swiftly be converted into a traditional, kill-’em-all-and-let-God-sort-’em-out army.

I agree that it is futile to expect the military to impose democracy where none existed before (though they’ve done their best when asked, and at times have worked wonders). But in addition to breaking stuff and killing people, our troops are remarkably good — and could be even better — at rescuing and protecting people. Let’s find a few good men, let them do more before breakfast than most people do all day and be all they can be. Let them be wardens.

There are 58 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    As the author of the quote I think our military is uniquely suited for humanitarian missions and we’ve worked wonders after tsunami’s earthquakes, typhoons, etc. Endless good deeds that go un/under reported.

    My issue isn’t the treasure that we spend on those missions and I am not aware of American servicemen and women making the ultimate sacrifice during humanitarian missions, but I have no doubt some may have done so.

    My issue is the endless, open ended nation building trying to prop up a sham democracy and individual liberty where few of the beneficiaries are willing to do it for themselves. That costs both blood and treasure pursuing a mission our forces are note equipped or intended for.

    • #1
  2. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Kate, our military is already there.

    Every Geographic Combatant Commands has a contingency plan for Humanitarian Assistance/Foreign Disaster Relief. Capabilities not resident in theater or not under the GCCs control but that would be required for an effective response are (theoretically) already identified, so that the request for support can get pushed to higher (usually the Joint Chiefs) as soon as the balloon goes up.

    It’s interesting that you bring up Haiti, though.  In many ways, Haiti was the disaster that proved the military staffing system is probably the best way ever discovered to harness diverse human capabilities to focus on complex, often ambiguous situations.  Prior to Haiti, US Southern Command had been reorganized to look more like a civil corporation (e.g., it had a “board of directors” etc).  This organization was a total failure in the initial days of the response, and during the initial operational phases of the Haiti response the command had to reorganize back to a traditional military configuration.  This is like unto re-building an airplane while in flight.  Interesting times.

    • #2
  3. James Madison Member
    James Madison
    @JamesMadison

    I agree with BB67 (as I do most of the time and sometimes when I don’t – ha, ha). I am not given to his words. Our words are important and no one makes more mistakes in this regard than I do.

    Killing and breaking are not offensive so much as they miss the purpose of the military. They need to be the best at their jobs Part of that is to win. Winning is not all about killing and breaking. That is the tail – the essential tail, but the tail of what it takes. I think BB67 was just using short hand with a flourish.

    • #3
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    I like the idea. As you say, we are doing it anyway in many cases. The only drawback is if we sell the military as primarily rescue work, when a war comes along, we may have some saying, “I didn’t sign up to actually kill people!” I believe I remember someone’s doing that when we went into Iraq or Afghanistan.

    Also, I agree with Brent. We don’t build nations, but if they mess with us, we will re-engineer their infrastructure straight to rubble.

    • #4
  5. RabbitHoleRedux Inactive
    RabbitHoleRedux
    @RabbitHoleRedux

    BrentB67: My issue is the endless open ended nation building trying to prop up a sham democracy and individual liberty where few of the beneficiaries are will to do it for themselves. That costs both blood and treasure pursuing a mission our forces are note equipped or intended for.

    Brent, you are not alone. My cousin is retiring from USMC this year as Lt Colonel rather than accept his promotion to full bird Colonel because of what you enumerate above. I know without query that he’s so weary of what his seniors would require of him without offering any meaningful support.

    Also, add the mind numbing implementation of social reform protocols  and other ancillary social concerns to the tip of the spear Military force which is supposed to fight and win, not be  a human resources profile in courage. He’s been to Iraq twice, he’s won the medals, now I would think he’d accept this final promotion and retire w/ considerably higher pay as one of 600 rather than 1 of 1800. (Present Value of the bump in retirement pay over the next 50 years of his life is over a million.) But he’s too tired, and too unsure of the instability he’d be forced to preside over.

    He’s the kind of Officer &  Gentleman we can ill afford to lose in upper echelons of service but he wants out. <sigh>

    • #5
  6. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    BrentB67: My issue is the endless open ended nation building trying to prop up a sham democracy and individual liberty where few of the beneficiaries are will to do it for themselves. That costs both blood and treasure pursuing a mission our forces are note equipped or intended for.

    Brent, concur wholeheartedly.  The two biggest problems I’ve seen are:

    -Failure for senior leadership to articulate strategic endstates.  “Making it up as you go along” rarely avoids unnecessary loss of blood and treasure.

    -Unmitigated, rapacious ambition in the field grade and GO/FO ranks.  Too often (in my experience), planning and operations were conducted through the lens of “what will get me my next promotion/command” rather than “what is the best outcome for our national interest in this situation.”

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    James Madison: I think BB67 was just using short hand with a flourish.

    It’s a very common shorthand in certain circles.

    • #7
  8. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    So, like, sending in the marines to protect Cecil the lion’s family from poaching dentists?

    • #8
  9. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    James Madison:I agree with BB67 (as I do most of the time and sometimes when I don’t – ha, ha). I am not given to his words. Our words are important and no one makes more mistakes in this regard than I do.

    Killing and breaking are not offensive so much as they miss the purpose of the military. They need to be the best at their jobs Part of that is to win. Winning is not all about killing and breaking. That is the tail – the essential tail, but the tail of what it takes. I think BB67 was just using short hand with a flourish.

    No, I actually mean that our military should be the most skilled and efficient in the world at turning human beings into hair teeth and eyeballs. I don’t mince words or back track from them.

    We should be the most lethal and feared force in the history of mankind so that when our diplomats at State ask someone to come to the negotiating table there are very real consequences if they choose otherwise.

    We have global interests and a standard of living intertwined with freedom of navigation and trade. Our relations with other nations backed by a lethal muscular military will help diplomacy succeed more often than not.

    • #9
  10. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Misthiocracy:So, like, sending in the marines to protect Cecil the lion’s family from poaching dentists?

    Actually, we do have “biodiversity” missions, in which we help train the local wildlife/security services in small unit tactics, they train us in tracking and bushcraft.  Then we hunt poachers together.  It’s a wonderful thing.

    • #10
  11. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    BrentB67: We should be the most lethal and feared force in the history of mankind

    We have the former and frittered away the hard-won latter.

    • #11
  12. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Boss Mongo:

    BrentB67: My issue is the endless open ended nation building trying to prop up a sham democracy and individual liberty where few of the beneficiaries are will to do it for themselves. That costs both blood and treasure pursuing a mission our forces are note equipped or intended for.

    Brent, concur wholeheartedly. The two biggest problems I’ve seen are:

    -Failure for senior leadership to articulate strategic endstates. “Making it up as you go along” rarely avoids unnecessary loss of blood and treasure.

    This is key.

    The only war/mission I recall with a defined objective was the first gulf war. Objective: liberate Kuwait. When they were liberated the majority of the forces returned home.

    Then we got into the Operation Southern Watch business that wore out a lot of people and airplanes, but cost us little in blood or treasure.

    -Unmitigated, rapacious ambition in the field grade and GO/FO ranks. Too often (in my experience), planning and operations were conducted through the lens of “what will get me my next promotion/command” rather than “what is the best outcome for our national interest in this situation.”

    Concur.

    • #12
  13. Terry Mott Member
    Terry Mott
    @TerryMott

    Arahant:

    I like the idea. As you say, we are doing it anyway in many cases. The only drawback is if we sell the military as primarily rescue work, when a war comes along, we may have some saying, “I didn’t sign up to actually kill people!” I believe I remember someone’s doing that when we went into Iraq or Afghanistan.

    This is my objection, as well.

    If we make humanitarianism a primary, stated PR role of the military, rather than a secondary one, this would change the focus from a military one to some significant degree.  At what point does it stop being a military?

    I can foresee a situation evolving where the path to quickest promotion up the ranks is being involved in a high-profile humanitarian mission somewhere, resulting in “killing people / breaking things” being given shorter and shorter institutional shrift.

    • #13
  14. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    BrentB67:As the author of the quote I think our military is uniquely suited for humanitarian missions and we’ve worked wonders after tsunami’s earthquakes, typhoons, etc. Endless good deeds that go un/under reported.

    My issue isn’t the treasure that we spend on those missions and I am not aware of American servicemen and women making the ultimate sacrifice during humanitarian missions, but I have no doubt some may have done so.

    My issue is the endless, open ended nation building trying to prop up a sham democracy and individual liberty where few of the beneficiaries are willing to do it for themselves. That costs both blood and treasure pursuing a mission our forces are note equipped or intended for.

    Agreed. (I hope that was clear in the OP?)

    • #14
  15. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Boss Mongo:

    Misthiocracy:So, like, sending in the marines to protect Cecil the lion’s family from poaching dentists?

    Actually, we do have “biodiversity” missions, in which we help train the local wildlife/security services in small unit tactics, they train us in tracking and bushcraft. Then we hunt poachers together. It’s a wonderful thing.

    Wow! Really? Cool!

    • #15
  16. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Terry Mott:

    Arahant:

    I like the idea. As you say, we are doing it anyway in many cases. The only drawback is if we sell the military as primarily rescue work, when a war comes along, we may have some saying, “I didn’t sign up to actually kill people!” I believe I remember someone’s doing that when we went into Iraq or Afghanistan.

    This is my objection, as well.

    If we make humanitarianism a primary, stated PR role of the military, rather than a secondary one, this would change the focus from a military one to some significant degree. At what point does it stop being a military?

    I can foresee a situation evolving where the path to quickest promotion up the ranks is being involved in a high-profile humanitarian mission somewhere, resulting in “killing people / breaking things” being given shorter and shorter institutional shrift.

    That’s interesting. You guys are much more experienced than I am at all things military, so I offer this with due humility: I know that, when bad things happen, the right response is rewarded in the MWS whether it is lethal force, a brave rescue, or a brilliantly executed recovery operation. I would hope that the guys in charge of Operation Unified Response were recognized for their “right response” just as the guys who planned and carried out a military raid would be. And—at least in my experience—it can be the same guys. I don’t doubt for a moment that Lt. Colonel Fulford could, if necessary, mount a successful assault on Fallujah.

    • #16
  17. Terry Mott Member
    Terry Mott
    @TerryMott

    I also would hope that proper recognition is given to exemplary service, whether in combat or elsewhere.  However I fear that making humanitarianism a co-equal stated goal of the military would unacceptably dilute the primary mission away from being, well, a military.

    Would a future Lt. Colonel Fulford mount a successful assault on Fallujah if, say, much of the curriculum of West Point was changed from studying Military History to studying how best to interface with indigenous peoples during a natural disaster?

    • #17
  18. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    BrentB67:

    James Madison:I agree with BB67 (as I do most of the time and sometimes when I don’t – ha, ha). I am not given to his words. Our words are important and no one makes more mistakes in this regard than I do.

    Killing and breaking are not offensive so much as they miss the purpose of the military. They need to be the best at their jobs Part of that is to win. Winning is not all about killing and breaking. That is the tail – the essential tail, but the tail of what it takes. I think BB67 was just using short hand with a flourish.

    No, I actually mean that our military should be the most skilled and efficient in the world at turning human beings into hair teeth and eyeballs. I don’t mince words or back track from them.

    We should be the most lethal and feared force in the history of mankind so that when our diplomats at State ask someone to come to the negotiating table there are very real consequences if they choose otherwise.

    We have global interests and a standard of living intertwined with freedom of navigation and trade. Our relations with other nations backed by a lethal muscular military will help diplomacy succeed more often than not.

    I agree with this, too, Brent (and it’s how I took your shorthand “breaking stuff and killing people” hence the “I’m not a pacifist” disclaimer).

    I would venture to guess we’re all hoping we continue to have fewer and fewer wars, the result not of people getting nicer but of nations either getting civilized or at least fearing the consequences of demonstrating their incivility too obnoxiously.

    With fewer wars, there are fewer opportunities to actually practice the skills necessary to mount a major combat operation, but also to demonstrate “by the way, we have the resources to turn you into hair, teeth and eyeballs most ricky-tick, so shape up.” The country with the muscle to show up and help when something horrible happens to a whole lot of people halfway ’round the world is a country with muscle … capeesh?

    There could come a time when the Rescue/Recovery mission is primary and the lethal force mission is secondary. That time is definitely not now, but it could happen—hope so, anyway.  I like this comment a lot:

    Boss Mongo: This organization was a total failure in the initial days of the response, and during the initial operational phases of the Haiti response the command had to reorganize back to a traditional military configuration.

    Knowing how to do traditional military configuration—even in non-traditional- military situations—could prove to be a godsend when it comes to big, inevitable calamities—earthquake, flu pandemic, the Cascadian Subduction Zone goes kablooey—while maintaining readiness for the next war.

    • #18
  19. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Kate, I think you capture the essence of my quote and position. I don’t say things the way I do in hopes of more opportunities for the men and women of our armed services to exercise their exceptional ability.

    My ultimate goal is much fewer deployments, less war, and loss of life.

    The only thing that ensures peace is strength and in some places around the world the only path to respect is fear.

    • #19
  20. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Terry Mott:I also would hope that proper recognition is given to exemplary service, whether in combat or elsewhere. However I fear that making humanitarianism a co-equal stated goal of the military would unacceptably dilute the primary mission away from being, well, a military.

    Would a future Lt. Colonel Fulford mount a successful assault on Fallujah if, say, much of the curriculum of West Point was changed from studying Military History to studying how best to interface with indigenous peoples during a natural disaster?

    Hmmmn.

    See, the reason I tether my fantasy to my game wardens (ummmn…. does that sound weird?) is that game wardens are law enforcement officers and they are definitely expected to be able to threaten and use force, including deadly force.

    But that could change. If violence (whether in Maine or in the world) continues to decline, and people stop being afraid of bad guys, or feel a need to be protected from them, preparation for violent conflict could get phased out of both warden training and military training. This could (indeed, by the evidence of history, probably would) happen prematurely.

    Still, a state or nation that has a substantial force of unarmed but well-organized, skilled and flexible First Responders is going to be in better shape to respond even to a resurgence of violence than would be a state or nation that has simply eliminated the military or police altogether.

    • #20
  21. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Arahant: “I didn’t sign up to actually kill people!”

    Well, Cupcake, today ain’t your day.  Now get on the bird!

    • #21
  22. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    BrentB67: The only thing that ensures peace is strength and in some places around the world the only path to respect is fear.

    Probably more places around the world (or around the house, for that matter) than we like to recognize. Some? most? all? people behave as they do because they fear the consequences that the broader culture attaches to misbehavior. Thank God this is so—and I say this as a person who has few illusions about what she might have done in what was already a somewhat reckless  youth had the lineaments of acceptable behavior not been drawn and established by my parents…by force, actual and/or implied.

    Instead of being deeply grateful that it is the United States that is powerful enough to set and hold the standard of reasonable international behavior, too many consider that reasonable behavior is normal, and nothing but good will and kindness are needed to maintain (we won’t say “enforce”) it.  This was among the many mistakes made by the intra-war years pacifists here and in Europe, and it is the mistake bound to be repeated by present and probably future pacifists as well.

    So let me repeat—I’m definitely not suggesting that the military need only be, or even primarily be, a first-responder organization. More that the already-existing first-responder role (which is more established than I’d realized—thanks, Boss!) be recognized, reinforced and publicized. I was surprised by how many humanitarian  missions my son-the-marine was deployed on; my liberal friends were astounded. They had no idea.

    The Coast Guard is a multiple-role military entity (law enforcement, search and rescue, coastal defense, deployment during wartime). How is the Coast Guard viewed by other branches of the military?

    • #22
  23. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Hey! You added a picture of Maine’s Finest! (That was a hard, good day.)

    • #23
  24. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    I first learned about how awesome game wardens are in this article. I’ve learned more since meeting Kate.

    Yes, I bought one of the rifles, but that was right before this article came out.

    • #24
  25. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Boss Mongo:

    Arahant: “I didn’t sign up to actually kill people!”

    Well, Cupcake, today ain’t your day. Now get on the bird!

    Amen, Brother!

    I think this is the cupcake I was thinking of.

    • #25
  26. Tenacious D Inactive
    Tenacious D
    @TenaciousD

    Kate Braestrup: See, the reason I tether my fantasy to my game wardens (ummmn…. does that sound weird?)

    You Mainers and your fantasies ;)

    • #26
  27. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The UN Peacekeeping force has been a disaster, but perhaps that’s because the United Nations did it, and they don’t know what they are doing.

    But I wonder if the United States could adopt the concept and make it work. Perhaps a souped-up Peace Corps that had access to military equipment and engineers. Some weapons. Small planes to get themselves out when things escalate.

    I also think it is good to have the military doing some positive things around the globe. Wherever they go, they need friends, and the best way to gain friends is to help people. And we have a standing army, and it needs to keep busy with projects from which they can extricate themselves at a moment’s notice.

    Our guys in Iraq did so much good throughout that country. I used to follow the military websites, and one picture has never left me: An Army Ranger in full battle regalia sitting in a kindergarten chair teaching 25 little kids how to brush their teeth. Crest and Colgate responded with lifetime supplies of toothpaste and toothbrushes. Another one of our soldiers started a campaign to get basic school supplies for the Iraqi kids.

    This is good for the military and good for our foreign relations.

    I grew up hearing that the difference between the U.S. military and all others was that we left schools, hospitals, and vaccinations wherever we went. I have always been very proud of that.

    • #27
  28. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    I would have no problem if a group of Maine Game Wardens decided to provide back-up  if I needed help and the same goes for the Armed Forces.

    The Portland Police Bureau Sunshine Division supplements the regular law enforcement duties and it does make a difference in how the public sees the Bureau. I see no reason why the military cannot offer assistance when it is possible to do so.

    Here is a letter written by a mother from Kenya concerning the Sunshine Division.

    As a mother, my heart ache with joy from last Wednesday’s Izzy’s Kids shop with a cop experience because it was the first time I saw my children beyond happy, grateful and they were speechless by all the kindness that all the officers showed us even with the language limitations. As a mother, it was truly a blessed day.

    Considering where we come from, authority figures terrify us; because we know any time we come in contact with any law enforcement person, the results are horrific. For instance, a police officer could put you in jail (for no good reason), could you beat you, harass you or your entire family, or discriminate against you based on your tribe. Therefore; in order to survive you must bribe them individually. Therefore, it always put us on guard as community whenever we saw any law enforcement person. Because we know them or see them in negative light based on our experiences from Somalia and Kenya. — Salado

    • #28
  29. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    The Sunshine Division receives no taxpayer funding everything is funded by donations.

    • #29
  30. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    So, a quick interlude: I’m all about kill stuff and break people…er, you know what I mean.  One time I’m hanging out at an Iraqi check point (long back story, there) and this little girl comes down the street, crying. On arm is in a cast.  In her good hand, she’s clutching some papers.  We ask what’s wrong.  She’d broken her arm a week previously (during a dust up we’d been part of) and had missed final exams.  Her report card reflected that fact.  She had never made anything but As until now. The teachers at her school wouldn’t let her take a make-up exam.  She was devastated.

    100_0189

    Some if my Iraqi National Police brethren took her back to the school, to have an engaging, mutually beneficial dialogue with the teachers (me going would be counterproductive).  They had a good talk, the little girl would get one day to study and then be allowed to take make-up exams the day after that.  Big smiles all around.

    100_0191

    It was a good day.

    • #30

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.