Why does this strike me as a particularly BAD idea?
Through its little-known “1033 program,” the Department of Defense gave away nearly $500 million worth of leftover military gear to law enforcement in fiscal year 2011 — a new record for the program and a dramatic rise over past years’ totals, including the $212 million in equipment distributed in 2010.and
The surplus equipment includes grenade launchers, helicopters, military robots, M-16 assault rifles and armored vehicles.
“The trend toward militarization was well under way before 9/11, but it’s the federal policy of making surplus military equipment available almost for free that has poured fuel on this fire,” Tim Lynch, director of the libertarian Cato Institute’s project on criminal justice, told The Daily.Military provisioning does NOT aid in protecting the public. It may aid in protecting the police in extremely rare instances and more often giving police the tools to violate citizen's safety and rights.
Thanks to it, cops in Cobb County, Ga. — one of the wealthiest and most educated counties in the U.S. — now have an amphibious tank. The sheriff of Richland County, S.C., proudly acquired a machine-gun-equipped armored personnel carrier that he nicknamed “The Peacemaker.”
I'm just trying to imagine officer 5-cupsofCoffee driving that amphibious tank in to serve a warrant on some poor sucker who happens to own a couple of guns. No doubt the internal affairs will continue to find that amount force justified irrespective of how badly misused these armaments may be.
I would think this would require local government to stop this. Here in New England I'd think you'd be best served by requiring any military grade acquisitions be approved by a vote at a public meeting. Only level of control when the police single you out for offending their authority.