Skip to comments.Military surplus a bonanza for law enforcement
Posted on 03/31/2012 11:15:06 AM PDT by thecodont
San Francisco may be known for antiwar movements and peace rallies, but when local law enforcement agencies needed help with supplies, they've turned to the U.S. military.
Over the past two decades, San Francisco authorities have acquired infrared devices, combat helmets, chemical protective gloves, vehicles and even a boat as discarded hand-me-downs free of charge from the Department of Defense.
In total, the San Francisco police and sheriff's departments have taken $1.4 million in equipment, from a $20 pair of evidence boxes to "climber's equipment" worth $325,000 in 1996.
Several other government agencies in California also have tapped the vast supply of free military surplus goods, equipping themselves with assault-style weapons and even tanks, first as part of the war on drugs and later in the name of fighting terrorism.
Look up free military surplus equipment in your community at links.sfgate.com/ZLIS.
California Watch, the state's largest investigative reporting team, is part of the independent, nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting. www.californiawatch.org. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/30/MN5L1NNT7D.DTL&ao=2#ixzz1qie3onuI
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
Obama’s Army, as well supplied as the military?
“Surplus City” just ain’t what it used to be ...
Well how do I get some cast off surplus? I’d buy some to save some loot
Count me as totally against police forces getting military grade weapons.
Military weapons are made to kill large amounts of people. You don’t invesitgate crime or apprehend suspects with a howitzer, tank, or machine gun. You execute them.
Also, I cringe when I see policemen wearing military style field uniforms like BDU’s, bloused trousers in combat boots, and other acouterments. What’s wrong with a nice pair of low quarters, creased pants and a crisply starched shirt of blue, white or tan and a wheel hat? It speaks with authority that “I am a PEACE officer.”
Military field uniforms worn domestically in city, town and village reek of “You (civilians) are the enemy”.
Did a search of the local county for 2011 (database goes back to 1991) and came up with the following for “Firearms”:
Category Item descrip/model Year of transfer approval
Firearms 7.62 MILLIMETER RIFLE 2011 $552
5.56 MILLIMETER RIFLE 2011 $2676
The other stuff (”General Equip/Parts”) seems pretty pedestrian: “upholstered desk chair” and “camera” and “filing cabinet” etc.
My rural county has SWAT vans, boats, off-road vehicles, emergency operations trailers, and even a helicopter courtesy of Gummit Surplus. Of course they have to maintain it, insure it, and build a new heated storage building (on the taxpayer dime) to keep it all in...but hey, it was free!
When I was back in the business of “transferring” U.S. military materiel to state and local activities/agencies, the retail value (not resale value) of the materiel was then subtracted from the already appropriated pot of money that was to be transferred in some other form (e.g., roads and other federally funded projects).
The electronics stuff we transferred (as an example) to state institutions/universities was actually worth (available from other sources at a lesser cost) much less and very likely obsolete (e.g., Atlas F ground control and commo devices)and there was a great deal of dismay when the states were told that their federal funds they expected for other projects was no longer available.
My experience was mid-1960s, so this same set of conditions may have changed since then.
Right. I spent most of the 1990s in Europe closing bases. Much of the equipment was turned over to other government agencies including state and local USA, to include police departments. There were thousands of desks, chairs, filing cabinets, printers, rugs, tools of all kinds and other and assorted, sundry goods. I did my part. Truly, the only thing remotely like a weapon I dealt with were emergency destruct barrels for classified materials. These had white phosphorus charges in them. These only went to units that needed them, or we set them off ourselves (lots of fun that) because the local European governemts didn’t want us transporting them.
Still, I was appalled to learn about military weapons (not all the other stuff) being given to police departments. I was still overseas on April 19, 1993 when I watched on AFRTS surplus tanks and APCs roll into a briskly burning Branch Davidian building. Not good, I thought.
Fanatics aren’t pedestrian criminals. They’ll gladly fight to the death. Cops have no business using tanks on ANYONE.
Those people could have been waited out.
Cops aren’t soldiers, and soldiers aren’t cops.
I can see wearing Combat boots. If the officer has weak ankles,Jumpboots can help.
As for the other stuff, they dont need it. They are civilian police, not members of a South American airborne brigade.
I live in a private airpark community with 100 lots. Last year a guy with marital problems boarded himself in his home with a gun. Sheriff showed up with two mobile comand posts, an armored vehicle (military surplus), swat team of about thirty and more bosses than you’d see at the pentagon.
Guy shot himself while in the garage.
WHY did there need to be 50 cops, two command posts and more fire power than you’d need to invade Haiti??
Oh yeah, they had one of the sheriff helicopters overhead also.
Reminded me of Alice’s Restaurant where officer obie had all kinds of cop equipment just sitting around.
Cops should be allowed ANY weapons or equipment that are denied to civilians.
> Several other government agencies in California also have tapped the vast supply of free military surplus goods, equipping themselves with assault-style weapons and even tanks.
Why in the world would a police department need a tank?
Cops should NOT be allowed ANY weapons or equipment that are denied to civilians.
Forgot the “not.”
I tried to bring my M-60 machine gun home from Iraq but they wouldn’t let me
Because that is what they have seen on tee-vee since they were kids and well, it looks cool!
Forget trying to just call the guy on his phone or knock on the door to ask what is wrong, that is pretty lame.
< /sarc >