Something Strange is Happening with the UMPD

Ok, something is amiss here.

Last year, the state government of Maryland gave the University of Maryland Police Department a $30,000 grant, with the publicized intent of using that money to combat underage drinking.

The UMPD then did something nobody expected – they RETURNED THE MONEY. Most of it, anyway.

Marc Limansky, the UMPD spokesman, had this to say on the matter: “We’ll manage; we’ve been able to manage for years.” Right.

The state then followed this up with their own case of unscrupulous generosity with taxpayer dollars, and GAVE THE UMPD ANOTHER THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.

What is happening here? Who returns a surplus? Did the police just throw reality in the state’s face?  Did the little guy just bring a small-town-honesty meteor crashing down on O’Malley’s big politik parade?

(this video is actually two minutes):

The newest $30,000 grant has instead been chalked up to technology upgrades, which the department has said they could not have afforded on their own. It begs the question – why did they return the money they had the year before? Are they perhaps more honest and virtuous than the slimy, libelous Thirsty Turtle Times has alleged?

Or have they finally overheard the grumblings of the student body, that resources are being wasted?

Seriously, they might have. They may even be working against the grain.

University of Maryland Memes, February 2012

University of Maryland Memes, February 2012

Don’t be fooled by the tweaks in state regulations – which now assert a criminal citation can be written for minor crimes like trespassing, disturbing the peace, or marijuana possession, in place of an actual arrest.  These are passed off as “beneficial to everyone” since students can avoid incarceration. But anyone who’s been through the legal system knows it’s not the arrest that hurts, it’s the extra ink on your background check.

These crimes are no less illegal, and no less punishable. The penalties for these criminal offenses are now actually easier to administer. A police officer who doesn’t have to take you to jail and book you after compromising your future can just move on to the next one, and bust dozens of kids in a given night instead of two or three.

Does that mean he will? We don’t know. Because while the state appears deadset to continue the oppression of students, the police are showing signs of evolution.

They are actually focusing their efforts on fighting real crime, pursuing necessary technologies to make the campus safer, and returning surpluses when the only other option is wasting it on an unjust cause.

Whether they acknowledge that the cause of oppressing student rights is unjust, or just believe it to be fruitless, remains to be seen.

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