The small rural county of Goshen in Wyoming didn’t take advantage of the U.S. government’s discounted military surplus program to buy an MRAP but they did decide that they wanted a grenade launcher. It must be one heck of a status symbol to have something like that out in the boonies along the Nebraska state line. This is yet one more example of how the feds are contributing to the militarized police madness in America.
As reported by a story on the website of the Casper Star-Tribune entitled “Goshen County buys grenade launcher”:
Three grenade launchers have been moved in and out of the Goshen County Sheriff’s Office in the past 65 years.
Yet not one of the weapons has been used by the county’s deputies.
Sheriff Don Murphy said the county bought its current launcher, which was made by Casper weapons manufacturer Defense Technology, for use in the county jail.
“We would use it in situations when less-lethal force is justified to get the situation under control,” Lt. Jeremy Wardell said. “That tool gives us an option not to use lethal force.”
Wardell called the Defense Technology weapon, a 40mm single-launcher, a “less-lethal” option. He compared using the grenade launcher to utilizing pepper spray or a Taser.
“It’s just another option in that middle area between verbal and lethal force,” Wardell said. “We have the ability to use it in the jail as well.”
Murphy said the launcher would predominantly be used for riot control. If a fight broke out between 16 people in a pod at the jail, a deputy could fire rubber pellets at the ground in front of the brawl to get the attention of the inmates.
Wardell oversees the jail, which currently houses 25 inmates. He said there hasn’t been a large fight there in the past year.
“I’ve worked for the agency for 16 years, and we’ve never had a riot we couldn’t control,” he said.
The sheriff’s office also stocks non-lethal sponge grenades, which provide temporary incapacitation through blunt trauma, according to the Federation of American Scientists.
Murphy said the launcher could be used for a long distance shot if deputies wanted to fire a tear gas round into a hostage situation.
Goshen County hasn’t had a hostage situation for at least 15 years, Wardell said.
Goshen County seems to have some sort of particular fetish towards grenade launchers with this one being the third in it’s history. The question is that if the previous two were never used then why of all of the things available through the Pentagon military mega-mall that is the 1033 Program would the county choose a grenade launcher. According to the story:
“Goshen County, population 14,000, is the only county in Wyoming listed by the defense department as having received a grenade launcher from the government.”
Lt. Wardell states that it would give his department the option to use non-lethal force in the event of a jailhouse ruckus but the small local pokey only houses up to 25 inmates. Not only is the jail small enough to not need a grenade launcher to control but has no history of prisoner uprisings.
Law enforcement authorities in Goshen County, Wyoming need to realize that Red Dawn was just a movie and there is not going to be any foreign invasion let alone a riot or an Ebola virus outbreak there. They must be watching way too much television which is understandable given the remote locale.
You just can’t make stuff like this up.