Wired / Dangerroom: Small-Town Cops Pile Up on Useless Military Gear

Discussion in 'What's On Your Mind?' started by Mike, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Aside from encouraging the wrong mindset -- destroying things and killing people instead of arresting suspects and collecting evidence -- these war toys in so many instances are simply useless.

    Wired / Dangerroom: Small-Town Cops Pile Up on Useless Military Gear

    One voice of reason:
     
  2. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    We have DHS to thank for this.
     
  3. [​IMG]
    From Wired:
    Small police departments across America are collecting battlefield-grade arsenals thanks to a program that allows them to get their hands on military surplus equipment – amphibious tanks, night-vision goggles, and even barber chairs or underwear – at virtually no cost, except for shipment and maintenance.
    Over the last five years, the top 10 beneficiaries of this “Department of Defense Excess Property Program” included small agencies such as the Fairmount Police Department. It serves 7,000 people in northern Georgia and received 17,145 items from the military. The cops in Issaquah, Washington, a town of 30,000 people, acquired more than 37,000 pieces of gear.
    In 2011 alone, more than 700,000 items were transferred to police departments for a total value of $500 million. This year, as of May 15, police departments already acquired almost $400 million worth of stuff. Last year’s record would have certainly been shattered if the Arizona Republic hadn’t revealed in early May that a local police department used the program to stockpile equipment – and then sold the gear to others, something that is strictly forbidden. Three weeks after the revelation, the Pentagon decided to partly suspend distribution of surplus material until all agencies could put together an up-to-date inventory of all the stuff they got through the years. A second effort, which gives federal grants to police departments to purchase equipment, is still ongoing, however. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, since 9/11, the grants have totaled $34 billion.
    Which means billions of dollars’ worth of military gear are in the hands of small-town cops who neither need the equipment nor are properly trained to use it, critics charge. At best, it’s a waste of resources (since the gear still has to be maintained). At worst, it could cost lives.​
    For related Cato work on the militarization of police work, go here and here.

    To Ease Concerns, the Police Painted the Tank a Different Color is a post from PoliceMisconduct.net
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    Continue reading...
     
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    "To Ease Concerns, the Police Painted the Tank a Different Color"

    I rather like the way Cato "painted" this story. :)
     
    Frank and Lisa Simeone like this.
  5. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Once again, our tax dollars at work.

    As Dana Priest and William Arkin outlined in their excellent series Top Secret America two years ago, this was all predictable. Weapons, techniques, tactics from the battlefield migrate to home turf. Always.

    In a way, and though some won't like my saying it, it's poetic justice. All the abuse we've meted out to The Other around the world is now coming back to be meted out to us.
     
  6. Debbie Tolson

    Debbie Tolson Member

    Lisa is absolutely right. I hate to be so negative but I am so sick of what is happening in this country and the carnage we engage in all over the world that it is time we reap the consequences.
     

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