In the year since Massachusetts State Trooper Mike Katone was given permission to use counter insurgency tactics in the city of Springfield, crime has dropped as much as 25% in the targetted areas, CBS reports.
The former Green Beret was featured in Sunday’s msot recent episode of 60 Minutes and told reporters that the operations work at home as well as they did in combat.
“Insurgents and gang members want to operate in a failed area, or a failed community, or a failed state, so they can operate under the passive support of the community, that’s not going to call police,” Katone, who served in Iraq, told reporter Lesley Stahl.
Katone said they set up “pilot teams” of specialised police officers who would “embed” with the community. The strategy was common in the Iraq turn around, which eventually turned the tide of the community against Al Qaeda.
Stahl, sensing at least a little controversy, pitched a curveball at the guy who okayed Katone’s counter insurgency, “He said he was going to bring military tactics to an American community, you must have had some qualms about that?”
“Once it became clear to me that he wasn’t talking about checkpoints or fast roping from helicopters,” replied Springfield Deputy Police Chief John Barbieri, “that he was talking about going door-to-door, organising the neighbourhood into a collaboration to report crime, to get involved in solving their own problems, it became obvious to me that that was exactly the type of program needed in that neighbourhood.”
Katone’s course of action raises two important issues: is there really room to apply lessons learned from war here at home? And does this open the flood gate to a more liberal application of military doctrine in domestic police work?
Watch the whole segment here:
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