Ed Driscoll

Roger & Marv

Slight Overkill: Authorities Send Armored Car and 24 Deputies to Collect Civil Judgment From 75 -Year-Old Man,” Rick Moran writes at the PJ Tatler:

I guess it always pays to be careful. Real careful. Obsessively careful. Over-the-top careful.

At least, that’s what civil authorities in the tiny town of Stettin, Wisconsin, in Marathon County believe. To enforce a civil judgment, they sent 24 deputies and the county’s pride and joy — an armored vehicle — to collect $80,000 from a 75-year-old man.

This account of the “police action” will have your jaw dropping.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

When officials in the tiny Town of Stettin in Marathon County went to collect a civil judgment from 75-year-old Roger Hoeppner this month, they sent 24 armed officers.

And an armored military vehicle.

Among other issues, the recent unrest in Ferguson, Mo., focused attention on the growing militarization of local law enforcement, particularly the use by even very small police departments of surplus armored military vehicles.

Marathon County sheriff’s officials aren’t apologizing for their tactics. Sheriff’s Capt. Greg Bean said officials expected to have to seize and remove tractors and wooden pallets to pay the judgment — hence the cadre of deputies. He also said what while Hoeppner was never considered dangerous, he was known to be argumentative.

Hoeppner said when he noticed deputies outside his house, he called his attorney, Ryan Lister of Wausau. Lister said he quickly left for Hoeppner’s house but was stopped by a roadblock that was kept up until after his client had been taken away in handcuffs. “Rather than provide Mr. Hoeppner or his counsel notice…and attempt to collect without spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on the military-style maneuvers, the town unilaterally decided to enforce its civil judgment” with a show of force, Lister said.

* * * * * * * *

MARV stands for Marathon County Response Vehicle, which his department obtained in 2011. It’s the only one in the county and gets used 10 to 20 times a year, Bean said.

“People may not always understand why, but an armored vehicle is almost a necessity now,” Bean said.

Of course it is. Yet another reminder that when a local law enforcement agency owns one of these

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… It’s going to put it to use, even if it means deploying it to collect debts from 75 year old coots. Heckuva job there, Marathon Country.