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There’s no doubt that domestic law enforcement agencies on every level have been ramping up their militarization efforts in recent years. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that it has prompted Senator Rand Paul to call for a demilitarization of domestic police departments. “The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action,” notes Paul in a recent article.
We know that the Department of Homeland Security has been buying up billions of rounds of ammunition, military grade rifles, armored vehicles, riot gear and a host of other supplies. But local police stockpiles have remained fairly hidden from the public, save for the brief peeks we get during mass policing actions like those in Ferguson, Missouri over the last week.
But if you’re interested in what your local county has been stockpiling compliments of The Department of Homeland Security, a database from the military’s Defense Logistics Agency can help.
The Law Enforcement Support Office, under the 1033 program authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act, helps local police departments obtain military equipment for use in their cities. As reported by The Detroit Free Press, over 8,000 participating agencies have taken advantage of LESO offerings from the U.S. military and DHS since the program’s inception:
This law allows for the office to transfer excess Department of Defense property to law enforcement agencies across the United States and its territories.
Since its inception, the 1033 program has transferred more than $5.1 billion worth of property.
In 2013 alone, $449,309,003.71 worth of property was transferred to law enforcement.
Simply choose your State and your County and you’ll have complete access to see how well militarized your local and county police departments are.
You may or may not be surprised to find everything from mine resistant vehicles and grenade launchers to night vision goggles and high powered assault rifles.