Photograph: thedailybeast.com
Recently, there has been a lot of media focus on the U.S. Government purchasing a large amount of ammunition in the name of Homeland Security. Furthermore, state and local law enforcement agencies are also receiving a surplus of military equipment and specialized training.

The 1033 military surplus property program, established in 1997 by the U.S. Department of Defense, granted more than $500 million worth of military equipment to police force agencies in 2011. In this nationwide program, extra military gear is accepted through the Department of Homeland Security’s anti-terrorism department, then can be readily available for local law enforcement agencies to request each year.

The program is designed to help local and state agencies fight terrorism and drug crimes, but, in recent years, there has been an increasing amount of military equipment purchased. Local police departments can request various types of military equipment for their inventories, such as body armor, night vision aids, first aid supplies, gas masks, weapons, surveillance equipment, and vehicles. The equipment available is non-functional or no longer used for military purposes.
Each agency first has to apply for the program, then each one has an equal opportunity to purchase items. Agencies are responsible for shipping cost, plus all maintenance and/or repair costs of the equipment requested. The awareness of this may leave many Americans to ponder the reason for state police departments to have such large stockpiles of military supplies.  

Why do you think local law enforcement needs military-grade equipment? Do you think there is room in the American federal budget for this program?

7/1/2013 09:34:10 am

I heard about this a year ago. Also, The Social Security Administration had also stockpiled a ton of ammunition. Now why would they do that? Thoughts anyone??

7/2/2013 01:03:25 am

This tells me our laws at this point are boardering if not already directly opposing the interests of a free society. As a citizen I neither respect nor support this. It's an insult to the intelligence of the citizens of our nation and a slap in the face to what our country stands for. Unacceptable.

7/3/2013 08:57:28 pm

This is the scariest aspect of this whole debacle. I saw a paramilitary group rolling tanks, wearing armor and carrying military weapons in the streets of Watertown. This paramilitary group that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts refers to as their police force was given a parade by the strange residents of that town as they chanted 'U-S-A U-S-A'. It sends a chill up my spine. While these silly little people cheer, I can't help but wonder why the government is better armed and ready to attack me personally than we arm the soldiers that went to Afghanistan - whose families had to, literally, order armor shields off the internet (paid for by them) to put in their jeep doors to hold off gunfire and explosives from the enemy in Afghanistan. Why does our government consider us Enemy #1??

8/13/2014 01:37:47 am

Terrorist attacks can happen anytime unexpectedly. Getting prepared is a good option for the police and the military department. Surplus equipments are necessary for this besides from the normal equipments they have.


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