According to a recent CBS 60-Minutes report, a Massachusetts State Trooper and former Green Beret has been incorporating a counterinsurgency strategy developed Iraq in his stateside police work with surprising results for both local crime statistics and the future of American law enforcement.
Iraqi war veteran Trooper Mike Katone teamed up with Harvard engineering students to apply lessons learned in combat to the mean streets of North Springfield, MA (check out the video for a rundown on what these tactics are). So far, the results have been striking: after a year of counterinsurgency tactics, crime has dropped an estimated 25% the in targeted areas.
Springfield Deputy Police Chief John Barbien, who authorized the joint operation, was initially hesitant to green light Iraq-style policing but agreed after seeing Katone’s program would be tailored to an ‘American audience’. According to Barbien:
“Once it became clear to me that [Katone] wasn’t talking about checkpoints or fast roping from helicopters…it became obvious to me that that was exactly the type of program needed in that neighborhood.”
Despite the program’s success, it does beg the question whether quasi-military operations should be conducted in American neighborhoods. And if so, will it lead to more liberal applications of wartime stratagem?