Despite public outcry, new federal data shows that 2014 and 2015 were peak years for shipments of surplus military gear to local police departments across America.
This week our organization released the study, OpenTheBooks Snapshot Report – The Militarization of Local Police Departments, that quantified the transfer of 1.5 million weapons-related items from the Department of Defense (DoD) to federal, state and local law enforcement since 2006. New federal records show police agencies in Florida, Texas, California, Tennessee and Arizona led the nation in procuring surplus military-weaponry from the DoD over the last 10 years.
We found a federally-sponsored ‘gun show’ that never ends: small town police are armed with M16 and M14 rifles, night-vision googles, bayonets and armored trucks; junior colleges and county sheriffs procured mine-resistant vehicles (MRVs); even local park districts and forest preserves stocked up on military-style equipment.
In total, our new data reveals $2.2 billion worth of military gear including helicopters and airplanes, armored trucks and cars, tens of thousands of M16 and M14 rifles, thousands of bayonets, mine detectors and many other types of weaponry.
Thousands of units of government across America received military equipment. Using our mapping technology, citizens can quickly search the military ‘gun lockers’ of your local government: park districts, forest preserves, hometown police departments, junior colleges, universities, county sheriffs, natural resource and public safety departments, state police – and Homeland Security, Interior and the Justice Department – across any ZIP code.
Read more at Forbes
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