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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the bazookas-for-all dept.

The Military 264

v3rgEz writes: Wondering how the St. Louis County Police ended up armed with surplus military gear, and what equipment other departments have? A FOIA request at MuckRock has turned up every item given to local law enforcement under the Pentagon's 1022 program, the mechanism by which local law enforcement can apply for surplus or used military gear.

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No (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687109)

Military surplus doesn't kill people, cops kill people....

Re:No (4, Interesting)

diamondmagic (877411) | about 2 months ago | (#47687193)

Military surplus makes such tyranny especially cheap, cheaper than it would otherwise be. Also something about the law of demand.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687303)

Cheap until they use it....

Maintence will be a beatch, when one of these expensive trucks gets a problems...

And the social issues.... SWAT teams over lost kitten reports ?, loud music, etc,etc....

Look at what happens when the cops show up in riot gear with a bad attitude (see St Louis Co riots)

What next IED's and RPG in the USA, because there are now targets for those weapons...

So lets fight a growing police problem with better weapons ?

Not improved police over site/ training /legal reform/justice system improvements/ real sentencing/immigration reform....

Re:No (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687407)

Look at what happens when the cops show up in riot gear with a bad attitude (see St Louis Co riots)

If the mob wanted to lynch a black guy, would you think acceptable that the police use all the force necessary to prevent that from happening? This particular mob want to lynch a, presumably, white police officer. But now it is okay to let them do it?

I want the rioting niggers that demand blood to be handle the same way a kkk riot would be. Swiftly and with great violence.

Stop being afraid of being called racist. Call me racist if you like, I don't care. These rioters are scum. They are not protesting state oppression or police abuse. They are just angry racists that lust for murder.

Re:No (-1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 2 months ago | (#47687499)

It's easy to not care what people think of you when you're anonymous.

Pussy.

LK

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687503)

If the mob wanted to lynch a black guy, would you think acceptable that the police use all the force necessary to prevent that from happening? This particular mob want to lynch a, presumably, white police officer. But now it is okay to let them do it?

Nice argument. You've taken something he said and made it into something he didn't say but you could argue against.

I want the rioting niggers that demand blood to be handle the same way a kkk riot would be. Swiftly and with great violence.

Seems like you have a problem.

Stop being afraid of being called racist. Call me racist if you like, I don't care. These rioters are scum. They are not protesting state oppression or police abuse. They are just angry racists that lust for murder.

The fact that you're so certain that's what's going on tells us a lot more about you than it actually says about the rioters.

They know why they're rioting. It's fairly obvious why they're rioting, but here you are explaining why you think they're rioting.

You may not be racist, I don't know enough about your views, but you're certainly a fool.

Re: No (0)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 2 months ago | (#47687413)

Guns don't kill people, apes with guns kill people..

Re:No (5, Interesting)

JDAustin (468180) | about 2 months ago | (#47687429)

When you give the police weapons of war then they will find someone to go to war with. Unfortunately, that is the general populace.

Re:No (5, Funny)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 months ago | (#47687573)

When you give everyone guns they will find someone to shoot. And if you listen to the NRA, then you know that just isn't true. So your statement can't be true either.

Re:No (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687631)

It's not really the weapons that make the police act this way, it's the lack of accountability.

Re:No (5, Interesting)

hodagacz (948570) | about 2 months ago | (#47687671)

Private citizens are under far more accountability and surveillance than law enforcement.

Re:No (1, Informative)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 months ago | (#47687761)

The police don't want war. In fact, they typically go after the low hanging fruit in offenders. You could be downloading an illegal copy of a movie from Starbucks and be busted while simultaneously a drug addict and a pimp are engaged in some sort of dispute across the street. Yeah, fuck that. Too much trouble. But hey, easy quota right?

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687835)

When you give everyone guns they will find someone to shoot. And if you listen to the NRA, then you know that just isn't true. So your statement can't be true either.

Funny, where I live damn near everybody owns guns and it's extremely rare for anyone to get shot.

What I find rather alarming is how people seem to think the 2nd amendment says you have a right to have a gun, as long as it's not used by the military or scary-looking, when in fact the entire point of the article was to make sure people DID have access to military grade hardware.
Not that I think people should have nukes, bio, or chem weapons, or some of the really heavy hardware, but if you're going to change what the Constitution says then fucking amend it, instead of shitting all over it with court rulings.

Re:No (0)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 months ago | (#47687923)

When you give everyone guns and tell them that they can use it willy nilly (and that improper use is "punished" by paid leave), they will use them.

Re:No (5, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 months ago | (#47687491)

When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Now police's only tool are military-grade weapons, intended to kill.

And sometimes the situation changes how people is, like in this Standford prison experiment [wikipedia.org]

Add to that how police cover up miscarriages [huffingtonpost.com] and that you can't [techdirt.com] film [huffingtonpost.com] the police [rawstory.com] , is not just who watches the watchers, but who watches the watchers that have military-grade weapons in the streets and are abusing of them.

Re:No (3, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 2 months ago | (#47687639)

When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Now police's only tool are military-grade weapons, intended to kill.

Really? What makes you think that? The additional weapons are available as additional contingency weapons, not as a solitary replacement for all tools, weapons, technology, and methods that they used before.

You also overlook that police departments started substituting rifles for shotguns long ago due do demonstrated need, and the experience of being outgunned.

National Geographic Situation Critical Hollywood Shootout [youtube.com]

Re:No (3, Insightful)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 2 months ago | (#47687665)

I think the point is that when the police are shooting people in great numbers -- I don't think the US has a peer in that dept -- then it might not be a great idea to give them even more destructive weaponry. Sure it would be "contingency" equipment when anyone asks, but sooner or later it'll be standard issue.

Remember those billions (!) of rounds of ammo that DHS bought?

In combination with the, shall we say, questionable record of accountability of police actions, tooling up to this extent seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

Re:No (0)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 months ago | (#47687787)

if your privatized swat team only responds with full combat gear then that is the only hammer you have and being privatized you need to make the local cop areas use your services too.

militarization of american police is on going and is about money mostly. not about being outgunned or shit like that - and also about the short training needed to be a copper in the USA and the shit ass stupid attitudes like "you shoot only to kill!" that are not standard in other western countries..

Re:No (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 months ago | (#47687925)

So pray tell, what kind of contingency requires grenade launchers? They're on that list.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687803)

You have a point; however you don't want to put people off videoing. It may be their only protection from a long time in prison. Most of these people get cleared by the courts [photograph...acrime.com] as long as they make sure some record of the incident survives.

Too much surplus (4, Insightful)

halltk1983 (855209) | about 2 months ago | (#47687127)

If we have this much surplus, clearly we're buying too much. I know that if I find myself giving away cans of green beans, I make sure I don't buy a whole pallet the next time I'm at Costco.

Re:Too much surplus (5, Insightful)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 months ago | (#47687153)

If we have this much surplus, clearly we're buying too much. I know that if I find myself giving away cans of green beans, I make sure I don't buy a whole pallet the next time I'm at Costco.

Perhaps, but unlike the military you don't have some Senator from a state with a lot of green bean farms and canning plants telling you that you must purchase pallets of green beans regardless of whether you want or need them.

Re:Too much surplus (-1, Troll)

istartedi (132515) | about 2 months ago | (#47687421)

unlike the military you don't have some Senator from a state with a lot of green bean farms and canning plants telling you that you must purchase pallets of green beans regardless of whether you want or need them.

No. We just have the government telling us we have to buy poorly-run insurance. If you're a guy you've got society telling you that you have to buy crystalline carbon at outrageously inflated prices for your fiance. The woman has to buy all kinds of "beauty" stuff to compete with the other women, despite the fact that guys have been telling them for years that they don't like all that goop on a face. They even did a study on that one that confirms it, but I doubt it'll change anything.

I think if you took "shit people don't really want to buy or have been brainwashed into buying" as a percentage of GDP, it'd be pretty big.

Re:Too much surplus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687537)

No. We just have the government telling us we have to buy poorly-run insurance.

If you're upset with your insurance company being poorly run, you need to call your government's insurance commission and let them know.

They are authorized to revoke a charter, aren't they? They're not just a rubberstamp operation that is in their pocket, right?

Oh, they are. Shoot, well. Boy, I dunno.

If you're a guy you've got society telling you that you have to buy crystalline carbon at outrageously inflated prices for your fince. The woman has to buy all kinds of "beauty" stuff to compete with the other women, despite the fact that guys have been telling them for years that they don't like all that goop on a face. They even did a study on that one that confirms it, but I doubt it'll change anything.

I think if you took "shit people don't really want to buy or have been brainwashed into buying" as a percentage of GDP, it'd be pretty big.

Yeah, but don't blame society for that brainwashing. There's a whole industry that is specifically to blame. Get mad at those men.

corn based ethanol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687589)

Ethanol from corn in gasoline is mandated. Energetically it is foolish, and uses up lots of precious water, but the corn state senators force it on us.

Re:Too much surplus (4, Informative)

Firethorn (177587) | about 2 months ago | (#47687189)

Have you never bought something that it turned out that you didn't need? Amplify that to the scale the DoD operates on and you get some serious amounts of 'surplus'.

Add in that the military has to operate on the principal of being prepared, and thus have stocks in case of danger, it makes sense for durable goods to still be useful when declared surplus.

For example, rather than having eight types of truck around, cut it down to 2 and surplus the rest. Individual departments with ONE armored vehicle can worry about the parts it needs, and if it breaks down it's not normally that big of a deal. Meanwhile the Army has to worry about hundreds of them, and if they break down too often due to age it's just not worth it.

Re:Too much surplus (0)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 months ago | (#47687201)

We just finished with two useless wars. That tends to create a lot of leftover stuff.

Re:Too much surplus (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 2 months ago | (#47687261)

Finished? We're sending more troops to Iraq [cnn.com] , as well as increasing airstrikes [cnn.com] . Hardly over, it's escalating back up...

Re:Too much surplus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687565)

It sure is, because we didn't finish it right the first time. We just decided that pulling out was going to miraculously fix everything. Thanks, Obama.

Re:Too much surplus (4, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 months ago | (#47687699)

Don't you think the inability to negotiate a status of forces agreement that gave US soldiers immunity from Iraqi law had something to do with it? Should we have forced ourselves on them and violated their sovereignty?

Re:Too much surplus (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 months ago | (#47687363)

We just finished with two useless wars.

Those wars were NOT useless. They generated enough ethnic hatred, extremism, and anti-Americanism to ensure generous defense budgets for decades to come. From the point of view of the MIC [wikipedia.org] , these wars were a big success.

Re:Too much surplus (0, Troll)

cold fjord (826450) | about 2 months ago | (#47687561)

US Defense budgets and military personnel strength are in steep decline and will be for years to come due to sequestration and other cuts.

The US was attacked on 9/11 because of existing religious extremism and anti-Americanism, not the other way around, the US didn't cause it.

It is baffling how you could get such simple questions so wrong. Substituting slogans for facts and thinking?

Re:Too much surplus (4, Insightful)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 2 months ago | (#47687733)

US Defense budgets and military personnel strength are in steep decline and will be for years to come due to sequestration and other cuts.

I assume you mean the 2013 cuts -- those have been matched, basically dollar for dollar, by increasing the "temporary" budget for Afghanistan. US military spending remains outrageous, at about the level of the rest of the world put together.

The US was attacked on 9/11 because of existing religious extremism and anti-Americanism, not the other way around, the US didn't cause it.

Fundamentalism is a part of it, yes, but would never amount to anything like what we've seen were it not for widespread anti-US sentiments stemming from more pragmatic reasons, such as US foreign policy for the last, oh, seven decades. 911 was a scandalous crime, no doubt about it, but to state that it is completely unrelated to your own actions is patently false.

It is baffling how you could get such simple questions so wrong. Substituting slogans for facts and thinking?

Coming from someone who apparently still believes the Iraq war had anything to do with 911 other than rhetoric, and somehow still manages to delude himself that anti-American sentiment somehow thrives in complete isolation of its international posturing -- yeah, baffling is what that is.

Re:Too much surplus (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 months ago | (#47687767)

Fuck the muslims! Seriously. FUCK THE MUSLIMS! They want global domination, from the Middle East, to Europe, the Americas, Russia and yes, China too.

Anti-american muslims? That sir is a badge of honor!

Re:Too much surplus (0)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 2 months ago | (#47687797)

Fuck the muslims

So, marry a muslim girl and be an example for others then.

Re:Too much surplus (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 months ago | (#47687807)

I won't convert, and for her to do the same would at minimum be disowned by her family, or at worst "honor killed". They're not the most tolerant of the bunch. Besides, I prefer women that weren't conditioned to be nothing more than "human ovens to bake loaves". That relationship would get pretty boring pretty fast.

Re:Too much surplus (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 2 months ago | (#47687833)

I think you will find most Muslims are not actually preoccupied with world domination. It is kind if like how the average American probably doesn't really support their government's foreign policy aimed at global hegemony, by any means, at any cost.

Re:Too much surplus (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 2 months ago | (#47687401)

We just finished with two useless wars.

Which wars are you referring to?

Re:Too much surplus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687535)

The war on the Constitution and the war on common sense.

I wish the government hadn't won either one, but they certainly crushed them both. Why couldn't those be be like the war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war in Vietnam, the war in Iraq, or the war in Afghanistan?

Re:Too much surplus (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 2 months ago | (#47687485)

Useless? You must be new to this Military-Industrial Complex concept.

Re:Too much surplus (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 2 months ago | (#47687635)

Most people focus on Eisenhower's reference to the 'Military-Industrial Complex' and for some reason omit, or are not aware of this additional warning that was part of the same farewell speech:

Yet in holding scientific discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

Re:Too much surplus (2)

flyingsquid (813711) | about 2 months ago | (#47687239)

If we have this much surplus, clearly we're buying too much. I know that if I find myself giving away cans of green beans, I make sure I don't buy a whole pallet the next time I'm at Costco.

Not necessarily. Following 9/11, the U.S. began two major wars in Afghanistan and Iraq under the Bush administration. Under the Obama administration, the U.S. has withdrawn from Iraq, wound down operations in Afghanistan, and begun to reduce the size of the army. As a result there is going to be a lot of equipment that simply isn't needed anymore; if we're not longer engaged in counterinsurgency operations in Iraq for example, we don't need all those MRAP vehicles anymore. So what do you do with all this crap? One solution is to give it to the local police, but as we seen if you arm them with the tools of an occupying military force, they start acting like one. Another would be to give it to the Iraqis and Afghans or whatever regime we're trying to prop up this week... but as we've seen in Iraq, these weapons have a way of changing hands and now we've got ISIS militants armed with M-16s and driving humvees.

It seems logical to try to find a use for all this material but arguably giving people weaponry tends to fuel conflict. We saw something similar happen after the end of the Cold War. The USSR and Warsaw Pact countries produced millions of AK-47s with the idea that they could hand them out to peasants in case they ever got in a fight with NATO. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR, you had all these extra guns nobody needed. Enterprising people figured you could make a lot of money flying them into conflict zones in places like Africa, fueling civil wars and militias.

Eisenhower said that war was humanity hanging on a cross of iron- that "every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." But its worse than that- those billions of dollars spent after 9/11 in the name of defending our freedoms are not just stolen from the American people, but are now being used to oppress them and spy on them.

Re:Too much surplus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687339)

Now that we have given away this surplus equipment.

And are looking at the possibility of reentering the Iraq area of conflict.

Are we going to need all new equipment to put boots on the ground ?

And was one of the war goals to supply our police force with this overkill for any rational purpose equipment ?

At the end of WW2 surplus equipment was mothballed or scrapped....

Re:Too much surplus (0)

ShaunC (203807) | about 2 months ago | (#47687479)

Now that we have given away this surplus equipment.

And are looking at the possibility of reentering the Iraq area of conflict.

Are we going to need all new equipment to put boots on the ground ?

Yes, yes, now you understand. Now get back to work! We can't meet our quarterly targets if you aren't paying taxes.

-Halliburton

Re:Too much surplus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687473)

But its worse than that- those billions of dollars spent after 9/11 in the name of defending our freedoms are not just stolen from the American people, but are now being used to oppress them and spy on them.
 
And this abuse will continue because of fucktards like you who still really feel the need to distinguish one administration from another.

Re:Too much surplus (0)

Shoten (260439) | about 2 months ago | (#47687311)

If we have this much surplus, clearly we're buying too much. I know that if I find myself giving away cans of green beans, I make sure I don't buy a whole pallet the next time I'm at Costco.

We just demobilized from one war, and are nearly done pulling out from another. Surplus is what inevitably happens as a result.

Look at it like this: when you get back from a camping trip, do you set the tent back up at home, and use the cook stove to cook your meals at home too? Of course not. And military equipment is usually better off sold rather than mothballed, especially since the threats keep changing and the cost of upgrades on gear that's in storage (don't forget the logistics) is greater than the cost of replacement, all other things taken into account.

That said, I wonder how much of this billion dollars is from MRAP donations. The military is giving nearly all of their MRAPs to law enforcement agencies, and they aren't exactly cheap. So that could be the bulk of this, easily.

Re:Too much surplus (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 months ago | (#47687371)

There is your biggest problem right there, "LAW ENFORCEMENT". You keep letting that term slide through and your problems will only continue to get worse. They are not law enforcement, their duty is not to force the law, they are not the courts, the place where judge and jury enforce the law upon those that they have proven to have broken it. Police Officer are there to assist the public in upholding the law. When a police officer 'believes' a member of the public has broken the law, they arrest them and arraign them for trial. Where the claim is substantiated and the court enforces the law and applies a penalty.

What you have now is something wildly out of control, where Law Enforcement officers enforce contempt of cop laws by brutalising them or publicly executing them on the spot. What change then start by publicly banning and legislating against the term 'Law Enforcement' because that term direct implies the role of police, judge, jury, execution and is in fact contrary to constitutional laws and is a gross and huge over reach.

Re:Too much surplus (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 2 months ago | (#47687587)

You don't really have that quite right. The police do engage in law enforcement. When they either observe or have other evidence of a breach of the law they enforce it by arresting or ticketing the person believed to be in breach of the law. But they are only part of the process. Prosecutors make decisions about whether or not to prosecute, and bring a case to the courts to be judged. Judges and juries decide if the accused is guilty, and what punishment to inflict. You will note that judges don't arrest, or make charging decisions. When the judge issues a guilty verdict it is up to the police and jailors to hold someone in jail, it isn't the judge. There are many parts of the criminal justice system, and each have a role. There doesn't tend to be a lot of overlap in the US system. And no, this isn't contrary to the Constitution.

Re:Too much surplus (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 months ago | (#47687607)

No you are most emphatically wrong. The police are required by law to use minimum force to undertake an arrest and that arrest leads to further interaction where the law is enforced. The police are not entitled to beat submission out of a person, the police are not entitled to physically punish a person, the police are not entitled to use force in any manner except as minimum force to undertake an arrest. All anti-protest activities are largely illegal and an abuse of constitutional rights, this abuse slides through because it is not challenged often enough in the courts and most often the abuse passes because the government is unwilling to prosecute it's own illegal actions. Forcing all prosecution of wrong doing to be pursed in civil court, so even though the government ends up repeatedly paying out millions upon millions of dollars, they government can still claim it's actions as legal because they were not prosecuted in a criminal court. This is a flagrant and public abuse of the law and shows the level of corruption within government and policing agencies and their willingness to blatantly lie and deceive the public in failing to criminally prosecute individuals where the civil court by making a payout has providing a proof of wrong doing and the need to pursue criminal prosecution. You are horribly wrong and likely should have faced prosecution upon many instances.

Re:Too much surplus (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 2 months ago | (#47687641)

Complaining about actual or alleged abuses by this or that police officer or department doesn't change the role of the police in the criminal justice system and their function of law enforcement.

Re:Too much surplus (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 months ago | (#47687711)

Some part of the surplus is probably stuff that's been replaced by newer upgraded stuff, not just excess inventory.

Real Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687139)

No Training For Police With Military Armaments.

When we see the Boys in Blue downing Green and Flak jackets know that big trouble is seconds away.

Police departments across the USA are typically under staffed and under trained.

With automatic weapons, grenades, mortars and field artillery and tanks and without a day of training the Police are just
out to kill them selves by their own foolishness.

Perhaps that is what Congress intended all along. Let the fools kill them selves for us.

!

 

Re:Real Problem (4, Insightful)

lsllll (830002) | about 2 months ago | (#47687179)

Actually many (not all) of the policemen and policewomen in the U.S. are ex military. They've been trained on the equipment that was donated to the police departments. What we should be asking is why have we come to a time/place that we think we need a swat team knocking on a door for an eviction, or even a low profile drug related arrest.

Re:Real Problem (4, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 2 months ago | (#47687227)

Actually many (not all) of the policemen and policewomen in the U.S. are ex military.

That in itself can be a problem. Take a person who has been trained to shoot first and ask questions later and then make them into civilian law enforcement.

What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Real Problem (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 2 months ago | (#47687683)

Take a person who has been trained to shoot first and ask questions later and then make them into civilian law enforcement.

  What could possibly go wrong?

What makes you think they have been "trained to shoot first and ask questions later"? I take it you've never heard of the term "Rules of Engagement"?

What could go wrong? Apparently people making thoughtless, uninformed comments?

Re:Real Problem (1)

Wookie Monster (605020) | about 2 months ago | (#47687249)

Citation Needed. I suppose I can search for it, but I assume you already have data which backs up your claim regarding the number of ex-military police.

Re:Real Problem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687331)

Denying the existence of the SECURITY THUG CLASS? Please extricate your cranium from your cloaca!

Re:Real Problem (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 months ago | (#47687369)

There probably isn't much of any. And if the US is anything like Canada the rate will probably be double. In Canada, it's around 7% across the board. Most ex-military here, can latterly transfer to the RCMP as long as they pass the "snap" test. Which is to see if they're ready for reintegration into civilian life as a peace officer.

And while I can't give much insight into US policing, there are a few things I can add. Back about 10 years ago, you guys had a serious shortage of police officers. So bad, that many cities would hire ex-criminals, even those with felony convictions. Detroit was probably the most famous for this, but many other large cities did as well. There's was a rather large article on this in several of the policing mags(like blueline) in Canada on it.

With that, over the last 6 years the US has followed Canada on methods of hiring peace officers. Those are: Highly educated(college, or university grads), who have high or very high education levels but next to zero life experience. My personal favorite, was what a few of my friends told me. They were ex-hiring officers at two of the largest police services in Canada. They had one applicant who had a doctorate, had never lived on his own, was aged 32. And had never held a job. He marked them for "not qualified" the upper management which has become highly political overrode his objections and hired him on anyway.

The state of policing on both sides of the border is this: Fucked up, especially with the policy of hiring people with zero life experience.

Re:Real Problem (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 months ago | (#47687929)

I don't know about the number (and I'm not OP). But there are actually programs in place that directs military veterans to LEO jobs. E.g. this [discoverpolicing.org] .

Re:Real Problem (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 months ago | (#47687553)

Actually many (not all) of the policemen and policewomen in the U.S. are ex military. They've been trained on the equipment that was donated to the police departments. What we should be asking is why have we come to a time/place that we think we need a swat team knocking on a door for an eviction, or even a low profile drug related arrest.

Actually you would go in with SWAT too, when the person you're invading the house of is ex-military. [go.com]

Re:Real Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687911)

Because you've created an arms race.

On one hand, you have civilians buying the latest and greatest assault rifles, you have an arms industry producing ever more impressive weapons and selling them to civilians with a massively succesful advertising campaign as to how it's in their interests, how it's to protect their freedom and so on and so forth, and on the other, you have the police not wanting to be outgunned.

The net result is that you're constantly trying to outdo each other, of course, the government always has the upper hand but what you've got going on in your own country is exactly what happens on a national scale when one opposing nation starts arming up against another.

The only solution to arms races is de-escalation and de-militiarisation, but that wont happen because you've got literally millions of NRA hicks screaming about how their freedom is going to be taken away, all the while missing the irony of the fact that you're one of the most monitored and restricted Western nations on earth - whether it's the NSA watching every single thing you do, or local bylaws created by busybodies that mandate that you must have x% of grass in your garden. American freedom is a myth, yet it's a myth screamed for in defence of the right to bear ever more exotic arms, and that in turn is creating your arms race with the authorities, which in turn feeds the nonsensical view that you all need guns to protect your freedom.

I wont pretend any, or at least, many Americans will get this, you're so caught up in your patriotic constitutional zeal through decades of successful brainwashing that it's somehow a magical thing that protects you all whilst reality demonstrates that it's not protecting you in the slightest because it's consistently ignored and eroded no matter how armed your populace continues to be but it is what it is - why Americans think they're exceptional, and above the natural laws that govern our world I really don't know, but the fact is that if you arm up, they'll arm up.

Instead of arguing for looser gun laws, or arguing that your cops should reduce arms, what you really should all be doing is figuring out how your entire country can de-escalate the stand off you've created between the populace and law enforcement, yet every time an opportunity happens to do that - i.e. a tragedy occurs, you go back to your shells and scream CONSTITUTION FREEDOM GUNS! then a few weeks later you're wondering why people are still getting shot all the time - I'll give you a hint, your populace is getting EXACTLY what it has asked for, if you don't like it, then stop fucking asking for it.

Re:Real Problem (3, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 months ago | (#47687435)

Police departments across the USA are typically under staffed

There is little evidence that America is under-policed. Most studies have found a weak correlation between numbers of cops, and property crimes, and NO correlation with violent crimes. A meta-study [academia.edu] found that a 10 per cent increase in officers will lead to a reduction in crime of around 3 per cent. There are far more cost effective ways to reduce crime, such as better prenatal and early childhood nutrition, better vocational training for teenagers, etc.

Re:Real Problem (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 months ago | (#47687849)

There are far more cost effective ways to reduce crime, such as better prenatal and early childhood nutrition, better vocational training for teenagers, etc.

Yep, but there's a certain large segment of the voting population who would rather spend 10x the money on police and prisons and be "tough on crime" than spend 2x the money on social programs and actually reduce the total amount of crime.

Re:Real Problem (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 months ago | (#47687921)

Interestingly since the UK changed governments to an austerity oriented government in 2010 and since the police saw large reductions in funding crime in the UK has actually dropped to the lowest point it's ever been in recorded history such that the UK is now one of the lowest crime countries in Europe (just over 10 years on from it being the highest).

Now, it's not that the cuts were the cause of this - it was trending in that direction anyway, but it's pretty clear that the cuts didn't stop or reverse the trend - a reduction in funding did not translate to a reduction in policing effectiveness.

Conspiracy theorists abound! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687155)

Ooh, let's distrust the cops because they're gonna use these weapons against us. So what if they get an MRAV or a sonic weapon? I'm not putting mines or IEDs on the road, and I'm sure not out in the streets protesting them and calling them pigs. In fact, I'm the typical myopic Slashdotter douchebag that has been spoon fed soylent feces all his life (and fled here from Digg like a rat in a flood), so I really don't care. My guns? Take them. As long as I get to lick the perineum of whoever takes over the government when whoever is pulling the strings finally does the deed.

Re:Conspiracy theorists abound! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687321)

# killall godwin

echo "Trusting government kills. Six Million Can't Be Wrong®." > /dev/conscience

/dev/conscience: not found

Figures, college seared that a long time ago.

And the links on MuckRock (1)

karvec (1235860) | about 2 months ago | (#47687173)

Are already down (to the pdf files of the agencies...) I wonder if they already got a takedown request from our friendly neighborhood federal government.

Re:And the links on MuckRock (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about 2 months ago | (#47687351)

Yes, the stepladders and multi-meters that my local force may have received could threaten national security.

The spreadsheets were there in the article with their own viewers. Froze my browser for a bit, I'm sure it's doing wonders for their web hosting.

Re:And the links on MuckRock (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 2 months ago | (#47687645)

The danger isn't really in the Law Enforcement agencies getting the equipment. It's the very militarization that is dangerous. The police should always see themselves as part of the community. Giving them the appearance of being a military, or allowing them to feel like a military force, separates them from 'the civilians.' No police force should refer to the ordinary citizens around them as 'the civilians' yet this is common language for police forces. Giving the police big lumbering military vehicles and promoting paramilitary SWAT teams to pose around in military-like uniforms is hazardous to our freedoms.

This sort of separation from the community they work in is a big part of the problem right now in Ferguson, MO.

First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687225)

And the MuckRock site is already Slashdotted !

Must be local government emailing takedown requests....

Arms merchants are the real problem (4, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | about 2 months ago | (#47687251)

Arms merchants are the real problem. They should all be sho...umm. We should bomb their factorie.... ummm... Let's just nuke all the... umm..

Lemme get back to you on this.

Who cares? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 months ago | (#47687255)

After all, only criminals have anything to fear from the police, right?

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687571)

Dunno, seems like all the "innocent" people being shot and protesting aren't so innocent.

Checked my own state (4, Informative)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 months ago | (#47687265)

For Virginia, I skimmed through and found:
* Basically every county, city and even college police were involved. Specifically which department got each thing isn't listed.
* 2 "laser range-finder/target designators". They listed laser range-finders with a different name, so these are definitely ones that could illuminate a target for bombing. Scary.
* 4 explosive ordnance disposal robots
* 1 mine-resistant vehicle
* 23 5.56mm rifles, 14 7.62mm rifles, 4 .45 pistols and 3 12ga "riot-type" shotguns. I did not notice any other arms, specifically .50 rifles. Interestingly, there were no multiple transfers of weapons - either only one gun was given to each department, or they're logging individual serial numbers, or they're lying their ass off.
* On a lighter note, a single electronic calculator, a bicycle, two golf carts and a "mule" were also listed. Whether that mule was an M274 truck or an actual mule is unspecified - the M274 was obsoleted in the '80s while mules continue to be used in Afghanistan, so an actual mule isn't that implausible.

Re:Checked my own state (2)

Firethorn (177587) | about 2 months ago | (#47687381)

Considering that any police department can purchase those firearms from almost any gun store, or off the internet using department letterhead if they want full-auto operation, I'm not too worried about those. I'm not going to say that an officer shouldn't have a patrol rifle or shotgun 'just in case'. $499 isn't much anyways. Looking it up, the NSN for the 7.62 rifle valued at $138 identifies it as an M-14. Most are probably shot to heck, but if you get one in good condition it can be a good pick for a designated marksman role.

The target designators might be weird but, they can also be used for spotting purposes - IE it can be used to point something out to a helicopter with the right equipment.

EOD bots? Again, not too worried, it's not like they're useful for oppressing civilian populations unless you're really creative, and it's something many departments should have if they're big enough to have a bomb unit. This ends up being most county and larger police departments due to the constant danger of idiot teens and pipe bombs. Same deal with a MRAP. It's not really useful for it's intended role, but if I was the police I'd use it as a rolling barricade if I have one or more people holed up in a building taking shots at my officers. It'd enable me to get people closer to the building, maybe even burst in if necessary.

One incident I remember where an armored vehicle would have been handy was were they had a shot officer bleeding out, but they couldn't get anybody there to rescue him because there was an active shooter with a rifle trying to kill anybody who tried. With an armored vehicle you pull it between the shooter and the person you're trying to rescue.

For mule - it might not be a M274 truck, but a Kawasaki 'Mule' [atv.com] , IE a sort of ATV mini-truck. They're handy for tooling around on military bases.

Update on the mule (4, Interesting)

Firethorn (177587) | about 2 months ago | (#47687399)

Okay, had a brain fart - I look up the rifle by NSN, and forget to check the mule, merely guessing.

Well, it's a Kawasaki mule model KAF400A [govliquidation.com] per the NSN*

Going by the state that I remember us operating them in, I'd guess that the thing was probably a non-functioning worn out POS by the time the military lets go of it.

*National Stock Number.

Re:Checked my own state (3, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 months ago | (#47687615)

MULE also stands for Modular Universal Laser Equipment, which is a tripod mounted laser designator. It's essentially the USMC equivalent of the Army's G/VLLD.

http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/marinefacts/blmule.htm [about.com]

Re:Checked my own state (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 2 months ago | (#47687409)

"Mule" is kind of a Kleenexed term these days. It's probably what kids today call a "UTV".

Funny story, a friend's dad had an old M274 out in the barn. We never managed to get it running. I guess that wasn't much of a story.

Take away the police's guns! (2)

penguinoid (724646) | about 2 months ago | (#47687277)

Maybe it's time to apply some gun restrictions on cops. I know what you'll say, "If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns." But I'm OK with people who go to jail if they should shoot an innocent person, having guns. It's the people who can shoot someone without facing the consequences who have the most potential to abuse their guns.

Only allowed to have civilian firearms ... (4, Insightful)

drnb (2434720) | about 2 months ago | (#47687353)

Sort of ... only allow police to have firearms that civilians are allowed to have. Solves two problems. The militarization of police and the disarming of the civilian populace.

Re:Only allowed to have civilian firearms ... (2)

penguinoid (724646) | about 2 months ago | (#47687433)

Better idea -- should a civilian shoots someone, they should get treated exactly the same whether they are police or not. Also, police are civilians.

Re:Only allowed to have civilian firearms ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687457)

I bet you love it when a faggot junkie shoots his load up your ass. You're such a dirty bird faggot.

Re: Only allowed to have civilian firearms ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687445)

All that would do is keep them from using CS or flash bangs.

Wonderful (1)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about 2 months ago | (#47687291)

Oh wonderful, at least three of my area police departments are participating in the program. It would be nice to see what they're getting, I wouldn't complain about most of the stuff on the materials list (coats, hydration kits, rope, etc), even a few guns wouldn't be out of the question. But if your local PD begins equipping all of their officers with riot shields/assault rifles, body armor, & armored vehicles they've ceased to be "peace officers". If these records went back a few more years I could be sure of one thing, from what I understand one of the local departments received a treaded APC a few years back through this program. It was only brought out for parades and I think one or two minor incidents. It became a major boondoggle when it broke down several times, caused damage to a road, didn't have a trailer to transport it, and was burning through $10,000 a year in insurance. I don't think they have gotten rid of it yet but they've also kept it out of sight, probably because it's broken down again.

US cops need to grow a set. (5, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 months ago | (#47687459)

equipping all of their officers with riot shields/assault rifles, body armor, & armored vehicles they've ceased to be "peace officers".

Indeed, one of the first acts in the Irish/UK peace process in N Ireland was a military order for all UK soldiers to remove their helmets while on street patrol as a gesture of trust. The simple act of removing a helmet requires a hell of a lot more courage than shooting into a crowd with rubber bullets from atop of armored vehicles. Sure, the macho swat stuff must remain an option for serious incidents, but calling in a swat team with riot gear and snipers for a routine suburban drug bust is the hallmark of a coward.

Would you rather the Arabs had them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687343)

Like Isis and Isil and not to mention Isabel. Iran, worst of the Is, has F-14 Tomcats non-op-ready and waiting.

You Fail It!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687359)

many users of BSD very own shitter, e@xactly what you've That *BSD is the facts and if you move a table ASSOCIATION OF declined in market

Zombies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687375)

Clearly the administration and military expect to be wiped out in the first phase of the next war. They're disseminating the armament so the people can defend themselves.

National Stock Numbers (1)

Ann Coulter (614889) | about 2 months ago | (#47687419)

Here is a table of National Stock Numbers: http://www.gsa.gov/dg/NSN_DATA... [gsa.gov]

If anyone is interested, I can import both spreadsheets into a PostgreSQL database, join by the NSNs, and post a dump/query/something.

College and school police involved (2)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 2 months ago | (#47687447)

Here's what I don't get: why are so many college and school police officers applying for militarized gear? I could understand the police wanting a SWAT team in case of a school shooting, but giving college campus police military-grade firearms sounds like a very good way to have a second Kent State Massacre occur. Why can't they just leave the military stuff in the hands of the SWAT teams?

Re:College and school police involved (4, Insightful)

Zeek40 (1017978) | about 2 months ago | (#47687495)

Because college and university police departments are full of petulant man-children who were rejected by city and county police departments and who whine like 8 year olds: But mom! All the cool kids are getting issued M-16's and tear gas launchers!

Re:College and school police involved (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 months ago | (#47687933)

All police departments are full of petulant man-children. Your city and county cops don't need a .50 BMG machine gun mounted on an APC, either.

In Utah... (2)

arthurh3535 (447288) | about 2 months ago | (#47687449)

We somehow need a ton of 5.62 rifles and 7.62 rifles, bayonets, a blowdart, a grenade launcher and a Hellfire High Intensity (something?).

And considering the SLC Metro area isn't _that_ rough and tumble, I'm wondering who they are planning to go to war against?

Re:In Utah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687545)

Look in the mirror.

Militiarization of police... (4, Insightful)

bayankaran (446245) | about 2 months ago | (#47687547)

US has a serious problem with militarization of police. Its ironical that the "munitions" - what an inventive word by the way - are now targeted against your own citizens. The images coming from Ferguson remind you of Ukraine and/or other war torn nations.
All those police snipers/SWAT teams pointing laser weapons at protestors...one mistake by an adrenaline junkie will happen and you will get FPS action against your own citizens broadcast live around the world.
The superheroes, the best and brightest who planned putting military gear into the hands of police should be sent to GITMO.

Re:Militiarization of police... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687623)

You won't be saying that when it is you being defended by said weaponeers when it is you under attack. By ZOMBIES! News alert! Crucifixen, holy waters won't keep this new Bad Company away. You need FIREPOWER!

Re:Militiarization of police... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 2 months ago | (#47687659)

The images coming from Ferguson remind you of Ukraine and/or other war torn nations.

Not really. More like plenty of other riots that have taken place in the US over the years.

US has a serious problem with militarization of police.

Not really. The actual problem is the overuse and careless use of SWAT teams to serve mundane warrants.

All those police snipers/SWAT teams pointing laser weapons at protestors...one mistake by an adrenaline junkie will happen and you will get FPS action against your own citizens broadcast live around the world.

In other words, nothing has changed.

The superheroes, the best and brightest who planned putting military gear into the hands of police should be sent to GITMO.

Will you be among the best and brightest serving arrest warrants in barricaded drug houses to heavily armed drug dealers?

Re:Militiarization of police... (1)

drolli (522659) | about 2 months ago | (#47687879)

If they remind you of Ukraine, then you are an idiot without any sense of respect for about 2000 deaths. In Ukraine they use artillery and air strikes. Already in the bery beginning of the conflict snipers shot into protesters.

IMHO the problem in the US is not the police. The problem is that the police needs to be more heavily armed than the civiliangs. If i should control driver licenses as a policeman in a country where a significant fraction of the population has firearms, and a non-negligible part of the population has a acceptance for anti-state/anti-government ideolody (tea party), i would be freaking nervous.

Well let's temper our anger a bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687677)

Like an above poster, I went through all of Ohio. There were a number of small arms weapons, (and above poster needs to look up the different usage for laser range finders... clearly it's not like CoD and they're going to call in an "air strike" against Occupy) but I don't have a problem with that, simply because my neighbors have more and bigger guns. America's got a hard on for guns, and it's exploded in the last 15 years due to Terrorism hysteria. When the citizens are armed to the teeth, I don't see how law enforcement can keep up any other way.

mo3 8down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687771)

America. You, series of debates If *BSD is to are She had taken Baby take my Well-known she had no fear
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