October 14-15, 2007 -- Blackwater training police in American cities and towns
The mercenary firm Blackwater USA is well known for the controversy involving its "shoot first, ask no questions" policy in Iraq. It is also known that Louisiana's Department of Homeland Security contracted with Blackwater to provide public law enforcement services in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina. Blackwater is also planning to establish regional training centers in Potrero, California and Mount Carroll, Illinois, billed as Blackwater West and Blackwater North, respectively.
These training centers, in addition to Blackwater's Lodge and Training Center in Moyock, North Carolina -- Blackwater East -- and a possible fourth rumored to be slated for the Pacific Northwest -- Blackwater Northwest -- may result in the establishment of a network of Blackwater-trained police, sheriffs, and other police units around the country. Given Blackwater's dismal record on human rights and brutality, this spells trouble for civilian control of police and paramilitary forces in the United States, from major metropolitan areas to small rural towns.
On October 14, the Washington Post ran a story, which included photographs from Blackwater's Moyock training center. However, what was most intriguing was a photograph of a police and military patch board at Blackwater's headquarters that indicated the police agencies that have sent their officers to Moyock for training.
Blackwater is secretive about its non-federal, as well as its foreign clients, which the Post pointed out includes Jordan, Azerbaijan, and Burkina Faso, but a WMR inspection of the photograph of the police agencies has yielded the following list of agencies that have used Blackwater for training:
1. Iowa Department of Natural Resources
2. Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff's Department
3. Matthews, North Carolina Police
4. Atlanta Police
5. Chillicothe, Ohio Police
6. Charleston, South Carolina Police
7. Port Chester, NY Police
8. Highland, Indiana Police
9. Unalaska, Alaska Police
10. Metropolitan Washington, DC Police
11. Charlottesville, Virginia Police