Georgia Sheriff Pattons Up for the War on Drugs

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Just in case you thought talk about how the drug war has "militarized" our police departments was exaggerated:

Officials in Clayton County have intensified their efforts in the war on drugs. Sheriff Victor Hill announced he is planning an invasion into drug-infested communities.

The ACLU said the question of whether or not the so-called invasion is legal, is a troubling one for them.


Deputies have identified five known drug houses, that they want to investigate. Thursday night, deputies set up a road block, and checked each car coming into or out of the street in question for drugs.

The operation has been dubbed Operation Jericho. Mobile police checkpoints have been set up outside suspected drug houses in the neighborhood. Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill said the plan is to occupy suspected drug territories with deputies — one house, one location at a time.


Hill said the conventional method of warrants and arrests are not working, and that military-like occupation of deputies is necessary.


"The war on drugs in Clayton County, as in most jurisdictions, I liken it to the Vietnam War," Hill said. "Hit and miss, there is no clear win — we don’t know if we’re gaining ground or not. What we want to do is we want to change our strategy. We want to make this more like a Normandy invasion."

And of course when you’re fighting a war, you can’t really concern yourself with collateral damage.

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13 Responses to “Georgia Sheriff Pattons Up for the War on Drugs”

  1. #1 |  Mike Schneider | 

    Coming soon: laser-pacification!

    But rest assured: when used “correctly” by the new professionals, you will not be blinded.

  2. #2 |  Jack | 

    My history is a bit rusty. Didn’t we actually loose the Vietnam war (vice having “no clear win”)? And didn’t a whole hell of a lot of people die at Normandy? Our people? Fighting fascists? Such irony.

    Aside from the unfortunate historical analogies, this makes perfect sense. After all, there are only 86,461 housing units in Clayton County. So, only 86,456 more possible drug homes to occupy.

    Seriously, this is beyond my comprehension. Is it an election year in Clayton County or something? Is there really an expectation that the drug suppliers will remain completely static? That they won’t do what they do EVERY time you push down on one section of the balloon?

  3. #3 |  Matt | 

    Is it legal for the police to search every vehicle for drugs without probable cause or consent?

    The Normandy metaphor is troubling.

  4. #4 |  Mike H | 

    Normandy my ass.
    Sounds more like another Bay of Pigs.

  5. #5 |  Will | 

    Anyone know where specifically (roads, neighborhoods) these roadblocks are being set up? Being in the greater Atlanta area myself I’d love to know…

  6. #6 |  FTP | 

    “Hill said the conventional method of warrants and arrests are not working”

    Yea, those pesky 4th and 5th amendments.

  7. #7 |  OGRE | 

    This is absolutely disgusting.

  8. #8 |  ZappaCrappa | 

    I think we should call them, “The Barney Fife Brigade.” Why is it that cops and local police forces are reminding me more and more of Reno 911 with a dash of mentally retarded Rambo thrown in?

  9. #9 |  Nick T | 


    I’m a lawyer, I can answer your question:

    (Here’s where, as a lawyer, I would typically go through a whole thing about how it depends on the specific facts because very few things are cut and dry in the legal world, yada yada…)

    No. It is unequivocally unlawful to stop every car that enters an area and search it for drugs. That is all.

  10. #10 |  Matt Moore | 

    Wasn’t there a Supreme Court case a few years back that found it was constitutional to stop all cars at a roadblock ONLY if they’re ostensibly looking for impaired drivers? I’m guessing this guy will only get away with this if he claims he’s looking for people that are high or drunk… based on the article he’s not even claiming that, he’s just looking for drugs, which isn’t the same thing.

    I’m guessing this won’t pass muster once someone sues.

  11. #11 |  Ochressandro | 

    “I do not consent to a search of my person, my vehicle, or my belongings. Get a warrant.”

  12. #12 |  UCrawford | 

    You know, I thought that “The Wire” had the best comment about the militarization mentality of the police.

    “This drug thing, this ain’t police work. No, it ain’t. I mean, I can send any fool with a badge and a gun up on them corners and jack a crew and grab vials. But policing? I mean, you call something a war and pretty soon everybody gonna be running around acting like warriors. They gonna be running around on a damn crusade, storming corners, slapping on cuffs, racking up body counts. And when you at war, you need a fucking enemy. And pretty soon, damn near everybody on every corner is your fucking enemy. And soon the neighborhood that you’re supposed to be policing, that’s just occupied territory.”

  13. #13 |  Timothy | 

    Bay of Pigs? Maybe, but to me it’s more Gulf of Tonkin. Makes me wish somebody would finish what Sherman started.