Fmr. FBI analyst Max Wise says local police have benefited from federal military programs, but for some towns it is "too excessive"

08/25/2014 04:07 PM

After a week of images coming from Missouri on national television of heavily armed and armored police clashing with American protesters outside of St. Louis, President Barack Obama has ordered a White House review of the federal government’s strategy of sending military grade equipment to local police departments.

Kentucky national security expert and former FBI analyst Max Wise, who won the Republican 16th District Senate primary in May, says local police departments have benefited from counter terrorism efforts after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

“Everything since post 9/11 we’ve seen a lot of local police departments being able to benefit off of military wise weapons that have been almost more accessible in today’s world than we would have seen,” Wise said.

Wise said there are some instances where the military tools could be needed in the state, but when it comes to smaller towns there could be some issues.

“I understand for some police departments where there could be a need for that. But, for some towns… I don’t know if exactly that is the answer that we need to be looking for of weaponizing our local police departments that much,” he said.

Police across the nation now have access to military grade mine resistant armored vehicles — which Wise said can be “too excessive.”

“Using tanks to roll into towns and things such as that — I think that is a little too excessive in the world we live in today,” Wise said adding there is a fine line police don’t need to be crossing.

One strategy the state could employ, Wise said, are regional level larger police departments in Eastern or Western Kentucky that could be trained to go into situations like what happened in Ferguson, Missouri — rather than having small town police departments with the same type of weapons.

“It all gets back to training,” he said adding that the Kentucky State Police have been trained to assist with larger situations of unrest and acts of violence.

Wise will enter the General Assembly in January of 2015 and he says he wants to “take a deep breath” and survey the scene in the state Senate.

“Not try to conquer the world or anything like that in my first term, but basically be a team player and work well with President Stivers and the Senate leadership as well as my other colleagues,” Wise said.


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