Archive for September, 2009


...Serbian "logo." Coincidence?


APF's logo...

The logo for the American Police Force, a mysterious security company that may or may not be taking over the town of Hardin, Montana is the same as a Serbian coat of arms.

APF appeared to be claiming jurisdiction over the town yesterday when three Mercedes SUVs belonging to the group arrived bearing Hardin Police markings. Trouble is, Hardin hasn’t had a police department in 30 years and currently have a contract with the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office.

The mayor told the APF to remove the decals.

Michael Hilton, who might or might not be a spokesman for APF, said in a CBS/AP article that “the vehicles would be handed over to the city if it forms a police force of its own.”

Free police cars sound too good to be true, especially considering that no contract has been signed, and the contract in question only covers the Hardin jail. Which interestingly enough, it was recently revealed that the company’s operating agreement for the facility has yet to be validated – two weeks after city leaders first unveiled what they said was a signed agreement.

What did city leaders and APF agree to?

Hilton also said he planned a helicopter tour of the region in coming days to look at real estate for a planned tactical military training ground. He said 5,000 to 10,000 acres were needed to complement the training center, a $17 million project.

5,000 to 10,000 acres for what kind of training? This company claims the capability of fielding a battalion-sized team of special forces soldiers “within 72 hours,” but who would they be training? Who will be conducting the training, and where would they come from?

APF said that the majority of their 200-plus employees (for a 464-cell jail) would be local hires, but the job fair that APF promised did not happen. They did, however, manage to hire a spokesman.

Becky Shay, a reporter for the Billings Gazette who covered events surrounding the jail since its construction. Shay said she intended to bring new transparency to the process, but declined to directly answer the first question posed to her: Where is American Police Force getting the money to operate the jail and build the training center?

“I know enough about where the money is coming from to be confident signing on with them,” she said.

Hilton said he also had a job discussion with Kerri Smith, wife of Two Rivers Authority Executive Director Greg Smith, who helped craft the deal to bring American Police Force to Hardin. Greg Smith was placed on unpaid leave two weeks ago for reasons that have not been explained.

Kerri Smith just so happens to be running for mayor of Hardin.

I don’t want to sound like some black-helicopter, tinfoil-hat conspiracist, but there is apparently something grievously wrong with the American Police Force. Quite frankly, these unanswered questions and falsehoods surrounding the APF should have disqualified them from operating in Hardin.

A full investigation should be conducted on APF before they can establish a beachhead in the United States.

(H/T Edwin)


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Attorney Mike Young with the Internet Law and Business Blog has dug even further into the American Police Force:

untitledThe server for APF’s website happens to host Defense Product Solutions’ website. This company registered its domain name way back on June 19, 2009. Note that both APF and DPS use the double-headed eagle for their corporate logos. AlliedDefenseSystems.com (registered March 2007) appears to be a related site. This website’s administrative contact is Mohammad Abdalla. Mr. Abdalla is listed as the COO for this company in Anaheim, CA.

Image1Here’s where it gets more strange. The admin e-mail is for a Mr. Edward Angelino, who just happens to be listed as a small business contact for Defense Logistics Services, Inc., a company that appears to be providing foreign military sales support for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Mr. Angelino has an interesting tracking record when it comes to both lawsuits and government contracts.

DPS’ “catalog” includes pictures of Angelino with Chuck Yeager, one of someone standing in front of an old Navy F-4 Phantom, and two of people standing in front of Humvees in the desert. Impressive.

According to the California Secretary of State’s office, Defense Logistics Services, Inc. was formed in 2004 but is dissolved.

There is, however, an American Private Police Force Org Inc. that was incorporated March 2, 2009, and is based in Anaheim too. In addition to being the corporation’s agent for service of process, a Mr. Michael Hilton is the self-designated “Captain” of the APF.

The APF claims it is the subsidiary of a parent company but won’t identify the parent company or where APF is getting its money. The company’s Washington, D.C. address is a virtual office. Its Santa Ana, California office appears to be in an office complex with a Spanish-speaking church, a dental lab, and insurance agency.

I wouldn’t want this group patrolling the streets in my town, and I certainly don’t want to be their prisoner, either!

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aar925.oggThe American Police Force has arrived in Montana. Problem is – they now claim to have police jurisdiction over the town where they seek to operate a jail.

KULR-8 TV in Billings reports:

Two Rivers Authority officials say having APF patrol the streets was never part of their agenda. “I have no idea. I really don’t because that’s not been a part of any of the discussions we’ve had with any of them,” said Two Rivers Authority’s Al Peterson.

As it stands now the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Department is contracted to patrol the city and APF has no jurisdiction. If that was changed Peterson says it would have to go through the city council.

It gets worse: the jail’s bondholders haven’t even reached an agreement with APF. And the group who has yet to provide any information that checks out. They have announced plans to do all kinds of things in Hardin, despite the fact that “Officials say the contract only deals with the detention facility and a police training center.”

It seems that Hardin, Mont. is beyond the Better Business Bureau at this point.

More on the APF here, here and here.

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The American Police Force will be in Montana next week to begin contsruction of a training facility and will begin looking for prisoners to fill the 464-cell prison. The executive quoted in the last post on the prison deal has been placed on administrative leave according to the Associated Press:

The economic development agency behind the private jail in Hardin has put its executive director on leave but claims the move will not interfere with a controversial contract given to a private security company.

The group also said it is still moving ahead quickly with the California company to operate the facility — even though neither group has contracts in place for prisoners, or promises it can get any.

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About as 'American' as soccer

About as 'American' as soccer

Yesterday I came across a company called the American Police Force Organization, Inc. (APF). The company is trying to sign a contract to use the just-built, but empty Two Rivers Detention Facility in Hardin County, Montana. Developers built the facility to accomodate an overflow of prisoners in Montana, but supposedly by the time the prison was completed, there was no longer a need for the additional cells.

But there is no record anywhere of the APF. And it just gets creepier. Get this from the Billings Gazette:

American Private Police Force Organization also plans to build a 24-bed homeless shelter, an animal shelter and a state-of-the-art forensic lab in Hardin, Hilton said. The company will also help the town’s schools with computers, provide access to CAT scans and give food to the hungry.

“So, if anybody is hungry in the city of Hardin if they cannot drive, we will send police officers with food,” [APF’s Captain Michael] Hilton said.

Homeless shelters? CAT scans? Providing assistance to schools? Police bringing food to “the hungry” who “cannot drive?” What’s the next promise from APF, free kittens for everyone? It sounds to me that APF will say anything in order to get their foot into the door. This area was already so desperate to fill the jail that they were willing to house terrorists from Guantanamo Bay. Plus, 80% of the 150 jobs necessary will purportedly be local hires.

In order to deflect the criticism, Hardin County officials have already started marginalizing the critical thinkers, calling those who take issue with the fact that a company who has never been heard of is promising them the moon.

There were also “naysayers” popping up, [Two Rivers Authority Executive Director Greg] Smith said. People were questioning the company and its legitimacy.

The company, which has international operations, is credible, Smith said, albeit much of its work has not been public. The private security company’s Web site advertises services for investigations, kidnapping and ransom, convoy security in Iraq and Afghanistan and weapon sales. The company, which claims to be able to organize a special force battalion for deployment within 72 hours, is registered as a limited liability corporation in California.

It almost sounds like the “virtual reality” a tactic straight from the Obama administration: nevermind the fact that there is no information available and therefore no means to verify the credibility – it’s credible because some guy named Smith says so!

Hilton said 90 percent of the company’s contracts are for overseas work with the United States government. He said he could not disclose the size or type of those contracts or where the prisoners for Hardin’s Two Rivers Detention Facility will come from.


Calls to confirm whether the company has contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense were not returned Thursday. The address provided on the company’s Web site for Washington, D.C., leads to the business Preferred Offices, which leases real and “virtual” offices. That company’s director, Ashley Corner, said it does not have a service agreement with any business named American Private Police Force Organization.

Whatever is going on here, IT IS NOT GOOD!

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The rural town of Hardin, Montana has built a prison, but long story short, is not getting any prisoners. The bills are about to come due – prisoners or not. So this company called American Police Force (APF) rides to the rescue.

Trouble is, no one has ever heard of the APF. They say they are an overseas contractor, but there are no records. They say that they are a spin off of a parent company, but won’t say who the parent company is. They say that the prisoners will come from California, but California says they aren’t.

The whole thing stinks. Hopefully it is some kind of scam, but we’ll just have to see.

Read more in the Missoulian

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[Originally published at The US Report]

School districts are feeling the backlash of a nationwide address to schools by President Barack Obama on Tuesday. Officials say the speech stresses the importance of “persisting and succeeding in school.” The address from the president, purportedly challenging students to “work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning,” sounds harmless, but events surrounding the address – whether intended or not – have turned a message to children into a means to further divide the country and weaken political opponents.

A controversy may have been avoided if the White House had released a transcript of the president’s address so parents and school districts could have made an informed decision as to whether to allow children to hear the message. Parents have the right to determine what their children watch on television, and who their children can talk to. School districts have the right to determine for themselves – based in part on input from the parents – what material will be covered in the classroom. When it isn’t known what the message is – president or not – parents and school districts are well within reason to oppose such a message until more is known.

Despite the growing controversy, however, The White House has determined not to release a transcript until Monday evening – the night before the address.

Parents are also justified in their concern about the lesson plans distributed by the Department of Education (DOE) to accompany the address. One section read more like a call for children to carry out Obama’s political agenda than urging them to finish their homework: stating that children should “Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.”

But why would children need to “help the president” when the focus is supposedly on “persisting and succeeding in school?”

As a result of the cryptic message, school districts in many states have decided not to present the address. The DOE eventually replaced the section, which Heather Higginbottom, deputy director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, called “inartfully worded.” But is it too much to ask of a department with more than $150 billion at their disposal and thousands of employees to not make such egregious editing errors?

White House Spokesman Tommy Vietor said that the section was reworded in an effort to “clarify the language so the intent was clear.” The section now urges children to, “Write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals,” which have nothing to do with the president.

Another section asked children ranging from preschool to sixth grade: “Why is it important that we listen to the president and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?”

Notably absent from the DOE’s documents is the importance of listening to the child’s parents, who have far more bearing on the child’s education than elected officials.

While it is possible that the next piece is tangential, it is still worth noting, as it has played a part in bringing the controversy to fever pitch. Utah’s KSL 5 News reported on Wednesday that the principal at Eagle Bay Elementary showed a video to students which included scenes of celebrities pledging to “be a servant to our president and all mankind” and another scene which said “I pledge to be of service to Barack Obama.” KSL 5’s coverage of the incident mentioned the pledges related to stem cell research, abandoning plastic bags, and hybrid vehicles, but conveniently avoided any mention of pledging service to Obama – once again having the effect of casting concerned parents as opposing such harmless issues as plastic bags. The principal later sent out an apology letter to parents, and the report stated that there were only a “handful” of calls, mostly supportive of the school’s decision to show children the video.

Parents not wanting to have their children hear the president’s message are being marginalized by papers like The New York Times as “conservatives” fearful of classrooms “being turned over to some socialist movement.” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs chimed in with his usual condescension, “I think we’ve reached a little bit of the silly season when the president of the United States can’t tell kids in school to study hard and stay in school.”

What Gibbs calls “silly season” is actually the exercise of parental rights and the responsiveness of local government – parents and school districts exercising their right to choose what their children watch or listen to.

Perhaps there wouldn’t be nearly as much opposition had the administration not released a suspicious lesson plan and had a highly controversial video of Americans pledging allegiance to the president – not the flag – of the United States not been shown to children. Barack Obama may be the president – and his message may well prove to be innocuous – but his administration does not override our rights.

But what the president’s apologists are leaving out is that this issue transcends partisanship – these are the same parents who tell their children “not to talk to strangers.” Until the transcript is released on Monday, parents don’t know what Obama will say any more than the neighbor across the street.

President George H. W. Bush conducted a similar address in 1991 from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington D.C. where the president called on children to study hard, avoid drugs, and turn in troublemakers. Similarly, the president was met with criticism from the Democrat Party. Criticism of Bush 41, however was targeted at using money from the DOE’s coffers to increase his popularity, not at enlisting children to help drive a political agenda that is largely unpopular with voters. It remains to be seen whether Democrats will remain consistent in their opposition to spending precious education dollars on speeches by the president.

Obama’s address to our children will undoubtedly be the harmless and inspirational message that the White House claims. Because in doing so, the White House has smoked out members of the opposition – to include concerned parents – and with the help of the media, has belittled them in the process. Opponents to Obama’s agenda have in effect hung themselves – and all the White House had to do was give them the rope.

The address will air Tuesday, September 8 at 1200 Eastern Time on C-SPAN and The White House website.

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