MRAPs And Bayonets: What We Know About The Pentagon’s 1033 Program

MRAPs And Bayonets: What We Know About The Pentagon’s 1033 Program by by Arezou Rezvani, Jessica Pupovac, David Eads, and Tyler Fisher. (NPR)

From the post:

Amid widespread criticism of the deployment of military-grade weapons and vehicles by police officers in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama recently ordered a review of federal efforts supplying equipment to local law enforcement agencies across the country.

So, we decided to take a look at what the president might find.

NPR obtained data from the Pentagon on every military item sent to local, state and federal agencies through the Pentagon’s Law Enforcement Support Office — known as the 1033 program — from 2006 through April 23, 2014. The Department of Defense does not publicly report which agencies receive each piece of equipment, but they have identified the counties that the items were shipped to, a description of each, and the amount the Pentagon initially paid for them.

We took the raw data, analyzed it and have organized it to make it more accessible. We are making that data set available to the public today.

This is a data set that raises more questions than it answers, as the post points out.

The top ten categories of items distributed (valued in the $millions): vehicles, aircraft, comm. & detection, clothing, construction, fire control, weapons, electric wire, medical equipment, and tractors.

Tractors? I can understand the military having tractors since it is entirely self-reliance during military operations. Why any local law enforcement office needs a tractor is less clear. Or bayonets (11,959 of them).

The NPR post does a good job of raising questions but since there are 3,143 counties or their equivalents in the United States, connecting the dots with particular local agencies, uses, etc. falls on your shoulders.

Could be quite interesting. Is your local sheriff “training” on an amphibious vehicle to reach his deer blind during hunting season? (Utter speculation on my part. I don’t know if your local sheriff likes to hunt deer.)

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