We knew that American Police Force, the shadowy private security company that has taken over an empty jail in a small Montana town, has a history of making outlandish and flat-out bogus claims. And it now appears that the company is taking some of the criticism to heart.
The firm, which is now calling itself American Private Police Force (feel better?), has toned down — ever so slightly — some of its colorful Web site’s claims. (Old version here, current version here.)
APPF has deleted a reference to a training facility which it had earlier claimed to control, but which is in fact owned by Xe, aka Blackwater,As of the middle of last week a “Special Forces Training” page on the site read:
“Our extensive tactical firearms training facility, the U.S. Training Center is capable of providing a wide range of instruction and training …”
The U.S. Training Center is, of course, a non-phantasmagoric facility in Moyock, North Carolina, run by Xe.
That same APPF page now reads:
“Our extensive tactical firearms training facility (ETA Spring 2010) will be capable of providing a wide range of instruction and training … ”
See the before and after screen captures right here.
Still offered by APPF: covert pregnancy testing, security for convoys in Pakistan, and access to a “vast network of senior government officials both domestic and international.”
As for the “U.S. Training Center” page, Xe had denied to TPMmuckraker any affiliation with APPF when we asked them about this reference last week.
Xe spokeswoman Stacy DeLuke told us today she has fielded a steady stream of calls inquiring about APPF and complained that any negative news in the industry gets dumped in her company’s lap. She said Xe employees were gathering facts about APPF.
“It’s bizarre,” DeLuke says. “They have nothing to do with us. We have nothing to do with them.”
We’ve left a message asking about the changes for APPF spokeswoman Becky Shay, whose voicemail still refers to “American Police Force.”
Late Update: KULR in Billings quotes Shay saying that APPF official Michael Hilton changed the company logo because it was
“the quickest thing he could to diffuse tension” with the old logo. She would not elaborate on exactly what those tensions were.
KULR previously reported that Serbian officials were looking into legal action over APPF’s use of the the coat of arms.
And Shay told a Montana CBS affiliate that American Private Police Force has always been the company’s official name.