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Tue Feb 24, 2015, 05:22 AM

Cop Fights to Keep His Secret Mercenary Army

300 residents. 100 reservist cops who paid handsomely for their badges. One embattled police chief, trying to hide the names of his pay-for-play deputies. Welcome to Oakley, MI.

Oakley is a hamlet barely the size of a gnat on a Michigan map, but it has a cyclopean police problem. The 300 person town is farming out its law enforcement to 100 wealthy, mostly anonymous out-of-towners who pay big money to become reservist cops—complete with bulletproof vests and special gun permits. And while outrage has mounted over Oakley’s glut of faceless reservists, the top cop there continues to lord over a pay-to-play-police racket.

Now, state lawmakers and the feds are closing in with new laws and investigations focusing on town’s cop kingmaker to force him to out his secret posse.

But Oakley Police Chief Robert Reznick said there’s no way he’ll give up the names. ISIS, he claimed, maybe after his auxiliary police force. “These are brutal people who absolutely have no value of life,” Reznick told me. “Whether or not it’s far-fetched doesn’t matter. Why would you want to put them in harm’s way?”


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Reply Cop Fights to Keep His Secret Mercenary Army (Original post)
jakeXT Feb 2015 OP
Demeter Feb 2015 #1
jakeXT Feb 2015 #2

Response to jakeXT (Original post)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 06:17 AM

1. Did you see the Freep article on Asset Seizure?


Evidently Michigan is nearly (but not quite) the worst state for it.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 06:28 AM

2. Interesting

Michigan has bad civil forfeiture laws—and law enforcement there uses equitable sharing extensively. Michigan requires prosecuting attorneys to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the property is related to a crime and thus subject to forfeiture. This standard is significantly lower than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard required to actually convict someone of criminal activity. However, owners in Michigan are presumed innocent; unlike in most states, the government bears the burden of establishing that the criminal activity was done with an owner’s knowledge or consent, implied or expressed.

On the other hand, law enforcement receives all proceeds of civil forfeiture to enhance law enforcement efforts, creating an incentive to pursue forfeiture more vigorously than combating other criminal activity. As the numbers below indicate, multi-jurisdictional task forces work extensively with district attorneys and police departments to forfeit property, resulting in more than $149 million in total forfeiture revenue from 2001 to 2008.


Maine A-
North Dakota B+
Vermont B
Connecticut C+
Tennessee D
Washington D
Georgia D-
Michigan D-
Texas D-
Virginia D-
West Virginia D-


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