In the last few columns, we’ve been covering the importance of community in preparedness. For this purpose, we created a mythical community called the Yakima Narrows, which is now engaged in gathering information to help its members prepare for possible threats from the surrounding area.
Last week we briefly covered how some of the intelligence gathered on the street gangs of Yakima, Washington could be used to help safeguard the Yakima Narrows community. Today, we'll look at another possible cocern to the community.
But first, a brief mailbox
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One poster, whom I'll call "Achy Derrière," wrote: "Pat McLene has convinced me that prepping is futile. Hoarding only makes you a target/grocery store for others. First you must acquire what you need then you must defend it against infinite hordes wanting to take it."
My response to Mr. Derrière is as follows: Most likely you don't actually read what I write and I suspect you simply enjoy living up to your name. Nothing in the last article addressed "hoarding," nor have I ever suggested that TEOTWAWNI (The End Of The World As We Know It) is the most likely scenario coming our way in the future.
Prepping isn't futile, it's prudent. A well-equipped prepper is in the enviable position of being able to help his friends and neighbors, no matter what the future brings. However, while I don't believe that a "lights out" situation is imminent, being prepared does raise your chances of survival over having your head in the sand.
So on behalf of preppers everywhere – in the event the stuff does hit the fan – I'd like to take this opportunity to proactively thank you for your contribution to the subsequent gene-pool improvement.
On our "local human threat assessment grid" diagram below, you’ll notice one of the "high likelihood/ high threat" items is "local government confiscation." The decision to place this item in the upper-left quadrant is perfectly justified, especially in light of historical examples during troubled times ("Police begin seizing guns of civilians" – please note this was a regional disaster).
Because gathering information and developing intelligence on local and regional police forces is certain to be a touchy subject, let me assure the reader that prudence requires this kind of analysis must be done on any organization that has the potential to impact a prepper community, whether that threat is presently credible or not. Times and conditions change. Another Mt. St. Helens eruption (85 miles from Yakima) or an eruption of Mt. Adams (35 miles) or Mt. Rainier (60 miles) or a Cascadia quake might quickly convert the Yakima city and county police forces from agencies concerned with criminal and traffic laws to becoming quite involved with martial law.
Is prepping the right thing for to do for Christians? Or should we just be trusting in the Lord? Learn about that balance in "Be Thou Prepared" by Carl Gallups – "Equipping the Church for Persecution and Times of Trouble."
So what can we find out about the Yakima Police and the Yakima County Sheriff? Well, there's a lot of internet OsInt (open-source intelligence) available.
The Yakima Police Force consists of 139 commissioned law enforcement officers and 43 civilians. The Yakima County Sheriff "... currently has 58 commissioned deputies, two animal control officers, 15 reserve deputies, six Department of Security officers, 12 dispatchers and 12 non-commissioned personnel."
Both agencies, along with police officers from Union Gap (pop: 6,000) – a bedroom community located adjacent to Yakima – participate in a Crisis Response Unit comprised of two specialized teams: a Crisis Negotiations Team and a Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT).
All three departments are well-equipped with weapons and associated tactical gear acquired either through their own budgets or provided by the Department of Defense 1033 project.
(Click on this link to access a spreadsheet provided by the Department of Defense which documents the current "disposition" of surplus equipment to police units all across America. Feel free to download it and see what goodies your cops have gotten from Uncle Sam.)
Here's some interesting speculation (not necessarily intelligence, but probably open to confirmation through other sources) on the Yakima/Union Gap sheriff/policing associations. According to the spreadsheet linked above, the City of Yakima hasn't availed itself of any of the goodies available from the feds. However, the Yakima County Sheriff has acquired a number of 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm rifles; while Union Gap, essentially a suburb of Yakima City to the south, received a boat-load of thermal and infrared scopes as well as an armored vehicle.
The Union Gap Police Department consists of 16 commissioned police officers, six reserve officers and three civilian support staff. In addition to regular patrolling, three officers are assigned to the regional SWAT team as operators or negotiators.
So a follow-up question that might be asked of the information gatherers by the Yakima Narrows intelligence analysts is: Why hasn't Yakima City either asked for, or received, any federal 1033 program largess?
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I can only speculate, of course. Maybe the City of Yakima, with all of its gang problems, might wish to avoid excessive news about the "militarization" of its police force. Or maybe the members of the Yakima City Council are opposed to accepting freebies from the federal government.
But the thing is, I don't know for sure if it's one of those reasons or something else entirely. So if I'm the Yakima Narrows intelligence "client" – meaning the person who has to determine potential community responses to the intelligence report I've received from the analysis team – I might want the answer to this question.
Civilian oversight of these agencies is pretty much limited to their respective commissioners or city councils. However, significant HumInt (Human-Derived Intelligence) can be gained by attending open-budget council and commissioner meetings. Additional information can be collected by volunteering for these police agencies. Heck, you might even try something completely off-the-wall in your information quest and ask a cop for the information you need.
So, based on just the information provided above, what would I – acting as security chief for the Yakima Narrows community – recommend in response to a potential threat from government officials intent on confiscating property from my community?
Well, you'll have to wait until next week for that answer, because we're still missing a major and vital piece of the intelligence puzzle, and we'll get to that next.
So until then, keep the data coming, attend a few meetings in Yakima and get prepared.