The world is insane.
- Bay Area police departments got millions in military surplus, records show
Asked why Antioch police needed a mine-resistant personnel carrier weighing more than 30,000 pounds, Antioch police Captain Leonard Orman said the vehicle was critical to the department's ability to protect officers during a natural disaster or in incidents that require a SWAT team.
"It's a defensive vehicle that provides the ability to be protected from gunfire, including high-powered rifles," Orman said. "If someone is barricaded in a home and there is an injured person on the ground, we can use it to rescue the person without exposing ourselves to fire."
UC Berkeley's police department used the 1033 program to request about a dozen M-16 rifles, which it said would give officers firepower equal to that held by some of the criminals they encounter, said Lt. Eric Tejada, a department spokesman.
"We feel that those specialists need to have a rifle that's capable of dealing with some incidents that can involve the modern-day weapons that you see now," Tejada said. "It's smart for us to utilize the resources that you can get for free."
- Davis acquires mine-resistant war vehicle while some complain of militarization of police
Chief Landy Black of the Davis police defended the acquisition of the MRAP, saying in a statement that its heavy armor “makes it the perfect platform to perform rescues of victims and potential victims during … active-shooter incidents, and to more safely deliver officers into an active-shooter incident.”
“I can’t imagine why Davis needs a tank,” Davis Mayor Dan Wolk said Wednesday. “It’s in a city garage and I hope it stays there.”
- Dozens of police departments suspended for losing US military-grade weaponry
According to the media outlet Fusion, its independent investigation into the Pentagon’s “1033 program,” which equips state and local police departments across the US with excess military equipment, turned up an alarming trend: Not only did many law enforcement agencies fail to comply with the program’s guidelines, they routinely lost dangerous weaponry.
Already, the investigation has found that police departments in Arizona, California, Mississippi, Missouri, Georgia, and others have lost or cannot account for various types of weapons. This list includes M14 and M16 assault rifles, .45-caliber pistols, shotguns, and even vehicles.
- The Pentagon Is Giving Grenade Launchers To Campus Police
David Perry, the president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, told Politico that 1033 mostly funnels “small items” to college police forces for daily use. These could be anything from office supplies or uniforms or car parts, but it’s probably not all that tame. Campus Safety magazine recommends that universities take part in the 1033 program to cover a range of needs from storage units to grenade launchers. That is, after all, what the program was designed to achieve.
- Finding Funds for Your Equipment, Programs and People (Part 2 of 2)
Military surplus and contractors via the 1033 program, however, can be excellent sources of used equipment.
The 1033 program (formerly the 1208 program) permits the secretary of defense to transfer excess U.S. Department of Defense personal property (supplies and equipment) to state and local law enforcement agencies. Anything from used grenade launchers (for the deployment of less lethal weapons) to trucks to boats to storage units may be available for a significantly reduced cost.
- Ferguson aftermath: California city tells cops to get rid of armored vehicle
Davis Police Chief Landry Black made the case for keeping the MRAP, saying the police department had confiscated much high-power weaponry in the last year. He said there were specific guidelines for its use, and that it is a necessary piece of safety equipment for the city.
- Police Armored Vehicle Is Unwelcome in California College Town
Sheriff Brown of Santa Barbara County said there had been “a lot of misunderstanding about the program — in some quarters, even hysteria.”
“The reality is that this is a great program,” he said. “It provides law enforcement with a lot of very valuable equipment that in many instances — in fact, most instances — could not be obtained or afforded, and allows us to do a better job of protecting our citizens and our own public safety personnel.”
- Commentary: A militarized police force may see its citizens as the ‘enemy’
Even college security forces are getting their share: A sidebar noted that nine out of 10 universities employ armed officers authorized to use deadly force.
And in 2013, “the campus police at The Ohio State University procured a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle (MRAP), according to the Daily Caller website. The vehicle, which school officials noted was ‘acquired at no cost from military surplus,’ has a gun turret on the roof and is designed to stave off ambushes and roll over improvised explosive devices. OSU was also the first agency in the state to acquire an MRAP at the time.
"Campus Safety Magazine"? There is such a thing?
My head hurts. I am sad.