Why do civilian agencies need military gear? It’s a question conservatives and libertarians have been asking for years, but in the recent weeks of debate over police brutality, and calls to “defund the police,” many are waking up to the fact that we need to also demilitarize local police. And it needs to start in Adventure Bay.
Adventure Bay is the fictitious hometown to the cast of pups on the popular Nickelodeon children’s show “Paw Patrol.” The show has recently been criticized both on Twitter and in mainstream media as “copaganda” for portraying the police in a positive light, particularity through its main character Chase, a German shepherd police dog.
There is perhaps no better example in pop culture that highlights the need to demilitarize the police than Chase the police pup. While the show is allegedly based in Canada, it’s clear the Adventure Bay police department participates in Canada’s version of the Pentagon’s “1033 Program,” which distributes surplus military equipment to local law enforcement. Since 1990, the 1033 Program has distributed over $5 billion in equipment to local law enforcement agencies.
Police departments across the country, even those far removed from cities and densely populated areas, have received military assault vehicles, armored trucks, grenade launchers, robots, riot guns, night sights, military helicopters, and more, all in the name of “protecting and serving” civilians.
By the looks of it, Adventure Bay’s German shepherd didn’t miss out on any of these donations either. Let’s look at just some of the “equipment” Chase uses in his quests to rescue cats and help grandmas cross the street.
Transforming Spy Police Truck
Chase’s normal police patrol car has the ability to transform into a “Spy Police Truck,” which could be described as a high-tech Tesla-meets-armored-truck, complete with satellites and drone launchers. “Perfect for catching up with the danger,” the show’s narrator says. It would be impossible for Adventure Bay residents to see Chase patrolling their streets in this truck and feel anything but fear.
Projectile Net Gun
Chase’s backpack is perhaps just as high-tech, if not more so than his truck. Whenever Chase wants to capture a suspect, he voice-activates the backpack with the command “nets.” A cannon automatically pops out of the backpack and launches a fully open net ready at his target.
Backpack Zip Line
The backpack has another similar voice-activated featured, but instead of a net cannon, out pops a double-sided zip-line launcher. This allows Chase to connect to zip between any two previously unconnected surfaces. Military equipment like this in the hands of civilians is just another example of the direct result of America’s war on terror and response to 9/11, as Peter Suderman has argued at Reason.
These “wall-climbing boots” have ultra-strong suction cup soles that allow the German shepherd pup to essentially defy gravity, even launching himself from one moving vehicle to another. Watch how he performs this Navy Seal-like maneuver here:
Spy Drones with Homing and Tracking
Just to be clear, Chase is not stopping al-Qaeda operations on the Pakistani border. He is usually working on investigations like helping Mayor Goodway find her pet chicken. Yet the police pup’s vehicle is equipped with “spy drones” with the ability to “search for anyone who is lost.”
Studies show that more militarized police departments are significantly more likely to kill civilians. We must not allow children’s television shows like “Paw Patrol” to teach our children that military weaponry used to intimidate and repress communities is normal or acceptable. Demilitarize Chase the police pup, now.