"Operation Exodus" up in Shreveport is no militia



Drew Pierson of the Shreveport Times brings us this story, which is... which is... Well, maybe we should just let Pierson go ahead and explain it:

The Bossier Parish sheriff's office is launching a program called "Operation Exodus," a policing plan for an end-of-the-world scenario involving a mostly white group of ex-police volunteers and a .50-caliber machine gun, inspired in part from the Book of Exodus in the Bible.

* blink * blink *

"The buck stops with Larry Deen," said Bossier Parish Sheriff Larry Deen. "The liability stops with Larry Deen. I am the chief law enforcement officer in this parish, and it is incumbent upon me protect all of the people in it."

Curious, I went to the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Web site to learn more about Larry Deen, and was fortunate enough to find an actual video of a training session for Operation Exodus. The video of the training exercise can be found here, but here are a couple of screencaps:

exodus 1

Exodus 2

So what are these fellows doing, exactly? It sounds fairly ... well, militia-y. But it's not. Back to Pierson's story:

These volunteers will be armed by the sheriff's office, using, among other things, shotguns, riot shields and batons. The members are mostly white men. Five are black. Women involved will only be used in "support roles," Deen said, which indicated non-combat activity. One of their first official training sessions was Feb. 20 when they learned basic hand-to-hand combat techniques.

Deen said he was not creating a militia.

Sheriff's office deputies stressed the program would not cost much. Because weapons, such as a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on something the sheriff's office calls "the war wagon," already have been purchased, the cost associated with the program would only be training and uniforms volunteers must wear, costing about $4,500 total.

Okay. Now you know -- if you're up in Shreveport and you see a bunch of citizen volunteers in paramilitary uniforms and riot gear, along with a .50 caliber machine gun, you'll know it's not a militia. It's just ... this paramilitary, hand-to-hand combat, machine-gun equipped non-militia thing.

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