The high-tech robotic human analogs that have for years become an increasingly common sight on battlefields wherever America is fighting our enemies overseas, have now been cleared by the Department of Justice and Department of Miniaturized Labor for domestic U.S. law enforcement applications. State and local agencies that have (or want to have) SWAT teams can now can turn to TAFs — short for “tactical action figures” — to meet some of their toughest crime interdiction challenges (it should be noted that the acronym TAFs is, itself, a shortened version of a longer series of acronyms, GI-JET/TAFs, but we’ll get to that mess later).
PoliceOne has learned that this new generation of tactical equipment was originally shown to a very small group (and by “small” we mean short — in the neighborhood of six to seven inches tall) of private investors during Comic Con 2010 in San Diego. In the year since that first private unveiling, the project has been truly under the radar — hugging the terrain from approval in Washington, DC, toward appropriation in Everywhere, USA.
Being deployed exclusively in conjunction with the Adventure Team UAV (pictured below), TAFs will enable police administrators to conduct high-risk warrant entries and other such activities from the comfort of a leather recliner in their office. The remote control systems for these devices have been described as being “easier than playing HALO 2,” and “way, way more fun.” With GI-JET-TAFs, the need for actual human SWAT cops may become entirely unnecessary, because an array of those duties can potentially be handled by remote control deadly force.
Meeting Budget & Mitigating Political Liability
Proponents of the new mechanized, miniaturized, tactical systems — led by the Institute for Mayors and Beleaguered Incumbent Election Campaign Leaders (IMBICLs) — argue that the relatively low cost of operation is only one of the many values of moving toward automated SWAT operations.
Ken Hollow, Mayor of MaliBlue (Calif.), spoke exclusively with PoliceOne while vacationing with wife Barbie at an undisclosed location. “Gearing up all those cops with all that black stuff — you know, black boots, black gloves, black helmets, black pants, black everything else — is really, really expensive! They paint something black, call it ‘tactical,’ and charge you an arm and a leg for it! But those costs are nothing when you compare the political costs of allowing those SWAT guys to go running around with all that stuff on the streets. Someone’s bound to get hurt, and that’ll lead to a lawsuit, and then that’ll lead to a recall election. I just can’t afford to pay for another election campaign. I just bought Barbie this [bleeping] house!”
Mayor Hollow, along with others in favor of the technology, believe that modern policing can be done more efficiently with robots, at fraction of the financial burden and virtually zero political risk for local politicians.
“I hate to send all those officers to all that special training — all that jumping off of buildings with those ropes attached to their black belts, and running around all those jungle-gyms and whatnot. It, I don’t know, it all just looks so exhausting! I hate to see our men and women in uniform have to do those sorts of things — particularly when we’re actually paying them to file as many reports as possible in a 10- or 12-hour shift,” Mayor Hollow added.
Success Despite Considerable Criticism
Soldiers, Marines, and Airmen in theatre in Iraq and Afghanistan have been steadfast in their opposition to a full integration of TAFs into their units.
One special forces operator — whose name is being withheld due to OpSec — told PoliceOne, “Look, we’re cool with working with the locals — you know, the various tribesmen up in the hills. We don’t trust ‘em, but we have to work with ‘em. But these little plastic pricks are no good. They think they’re sooooo perfect, but really, can they do the missions? I don’t think so. The commanders back in their air-conditioned trailers in Qatar and Bahrain feed us all this junk about these little dudes being ‘the tip of the 3¾-inch scale spear.’ Whatever those idiots are smoking, they should stop, because that stuff causes brain damage. Pretty soon they’re going to say that those little remote control guys will actually be controlled by other, little remote control guys.”
“Pretty soon they’re going to say that those little remote control guys will actually be controlled by other, little remote control guys,” said one source. Apparently, he is not far off from the truth! (PoliceOne Image)
This operator is not far off the mark. PoliceOne has learned that this concept is already well into development, and we were even able to obtain the shocking photo to the left.
Deconstructing Modern History
General Issue — the manufacturer of the Action Soldier (U.S. Army), Action Pilot (USAF), and Action Nurse (International Red Cross) 3¾-inch scale remote-controlled TAFs known as “Joes” had previously been a division of Has-bro. About an hour and a half after lunch on September 12, 2001, Has-bro received a hastily-drafted $150 billion research grant from DARPA to weaponize their historic line of children’s toys. The company then set to developing the technology which has now been introduced as GI-JET/TAFs. What does that acronym stand for?
Well, GI-Joe Entry Team / Tactical Action Figures, of course!