November 25, 2013 Leave a comment
Background: The Department of Defense has given military equipment from the Iraq War to local police departments. Some outlets point out this equipment will improve police productivity during natural disasters and is given based on need (LEFT). Other outlets discuss the opponents to ‘police militarization,’ who argue it escalates violence and is superfluous to law enforcement needs (RIGHT).
OTM Police Departments Get Surplus Military Equipment
October 28 Over The Mountain Journal
“If a tornado or severe storm makes streets impassable… several local police departments are more prepared to navigate these treacherous roads–thanks to the U.S military… The Humvees are some of the larger items both police departments have acquired through the military, but the departments have also received trucks, rifle scopes, rifle racks, backpacks, sleeping bags, cots and even pots and pans… “Almost anything you can think of that would be benefit the military at some point in time becomes available through this program,”… Law enforcement agencies must make a formal request for the item or equipment and must justify their use of the equipment (based on need)… The program has been a blessing to local law enforcement agencies, particularly during a slumping economy… ”
More Defense surplus equipment heading to local police departments; ACLU concerned
Nov 24 Washington Post
“Coming soon to your local sheriff: 18-ton, armor-protected military fighting vehicles with gun turrets and bulletproof glass that were once the U.S. answer to roadside bombs during the Iraq war… The American Civil Liberties Union criticizes what it sees as the increasing militarization of the nation’s police… “One of our concerns with this is it has a tendency to escalate violence”… a disproportionate share of the $4.2 billion… has been obtained by police and sheriff’s departments in rural areas with few officers and little crime… The Albany County sheriff rejected the idea… “Our problem is we have to make sure we are prepared to respond to every type of crisis.”…”