It’s been tried in some of the big cities (most notably New York City), and now it’s happening in Arkansas. The town of Paragould has decided that the best way to fight their recent uptick in crime is to start deploying cops in SWAT gear, checking your papers, and asking for a good reason for you to have the nerve to be walking the streets.
According to Salon.com (I know, I know, but it was the first source a buddy of mine showed me), the town has cancelled two town meetings after the first one where this action was discussed due “public safety concerns,” and that the program was supposed to start sometime this month, but no one’s seen them wandering around. The mayor may have wised up (or talked to a lawyer… any lawyer) and decided this was a bad idea, but it’s frightening that anyone in any place of power in the USA could possibly think that a wandering goon squad is a good idea and it didn’t get squashed until the public announcement.
Of course, as that article points out, this sort of thing has actually happened in US cities before. They cite when Fresno did it, and New York has the men in blue randomly frisking people (even though any charges keep getting thrown out for being unconstitutional).