Blurring the lines between the U.S. military and local sheriff departments sets a dangerous precedent that erodes freedom and civil liberties.
Those lines are being blurred right now in South Carolina.
According to The State, the Richland County Sheriff's Department will participate in secretive joint exercise Monday and Tuesday with unnamed units from Ft. Bragg.
The drills are scheduled to run up to midnight on both days and occur primarily in Lower Richland, around Hopkins and Eastover. Exercises will also take place around the Screaming Eagle Road near Elgin and North Richland County near outbound Monticello Road.
According to The State, a sheriff's department spokesman refused to provide which units from Ft. Bragg are involved. Ft. Bragg is home to the U.S. Army's elite groups, including the Special Forces and Delta Force.
The spokesman also said the drills would be noisy at times.
"Citizens may see military and departmental vehicles traveling in and around rural and metropolitan areas and may hear ordnance being set off or fired which will be simulated/ blanks and controlled by trained personnel," a sheriff's department press release said.
The secretive exercises are off limits to the media, reports The Activist Post.
The implications are serious.
Locally elected Sheriffs take an oath to uphold, preserve, and defend the Constitution. They are not an extension of the centralized federal government. They have the ultimate say in their county as the top law enforcement officer.
If sheriff deputies engage an enemy in conjunction with the U.S. military who do they take orders from? The ARMY commander? Or their Sheriff?
This violates the separation of local authorities and the federal government. If the separation of powers are eliminated, who will protect the Constitutional rights of citizens?
Contact the Richland County Sheriff's Department and feel free to express disapproval with local police working with the US military like this. Here's their contact information:
Sheriff Leon Lott
5623 Two Notch Road
Columbia, South Carolina 29223
(803) 576-3000 phone (803) 576-3195 fax