Congress to Review Military Equipment Sent to Police

Congress to Review Military Equipment Sent to Police

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Congress would re-evaluate the program the Pentagon set up to pass on unwanted military equipment to local police department.

Run by the Defense Logistics Agency, the Excess Property Program has come under fire following the scenes in Ferguson, Missouri of police officers wearing camouflage lying on top of armored vehicles pointing sniper rifles at protesters.  

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, explained that the program was created in order to make sure police officers had the proper equipment to fight drug battles. He said the situation in Ferguson has illustrated that the program might have over reached its intent.

“Congress established this program out of real concern that local law enforcement agencies were literally outgunned by drug criminals. We intended this equipment to keep police officers and their communities safe from heavily armed drug gangs and terrorist incidents. Before the defense authorization bill comes to the Senate floor, we will review this program to determine if equipment provided by the Defense Department is being used as intended.”

Since its inception, the program has transferred more than $5 billion worth of defense equipment and supplies to more than 8,000 local law enforcement agencies, according to the DLA’s Disposition Services website.

The program’s website includes among the inventory available for transfer such guns as the M-16A2 assault rifle, M-14 rifle and M-1911 .45-caliber pistol, such vehicles as the iconic Humvee utility vehicle and MRAP, and even aircraft and boats.

In an e-mail to Military​.com, Michelle McCaskill, a spokeswoman for the defense agency, said weapons account for only 5 percent of the transfers and tactical vehicles even less, less than 1 percent. She also noted how the Congressionally mandated program was designed to aid communities requesting help with counter-drug and counter-terrorism activities.

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I hear the air force is trying to get rid of their A-10s, perhaps some 5,000 person town in Iowa needs one

You mean an act of Congress had unintended consequences? I’m shocked.

Maybe congress needs to include training with the equipment… Some of the equipment is needed by the police but so is the training required to use it appropriately!!!

How many times have drug cartelmen tried to fight it out? Not often, but in Mexico it’s a different story.

The unanswered question is how are small towns that decide they need an MRAP supposed to pay for them? Or a SWAT team? In a day and age when many municipalities are low on money and push their policing responsibilities back up to the county where is the money coming from?

I suppose maintaining SWAT teams at the county level may make more sense anywhere outside of a large city. But if you are tiny Goodhue County Minnesota what is a SWAT team going to be doing every day other than being put on patrol duty?

The militarization of the police? Who could have foreseen that? Shades of George Orwell. The government is Big Brother! War is peace! And if local police need this equipment so bad, why don’t we see them shooting it out with the drug lords? But blight is riht, this stuff and the SWAT teams are a waste of taxpayer dollars and a misallocation of funds at the local level.

Send me one. We got some deer and wild turkey problem over here.

The militariZatio is the issue. The whole response showed a lack of discipline training and indifference to public perception. Unless an active shooter is suspected snipers are out of place and even when needed they should be in cover and subdued in presence putting them atop armored vehicles in American neighborhoods pointing high powered weapons at the public is inflammatory. Americans should not have this happening unless truly warranted. I think a police command structure exhibited a callous indifference to the public the press and peiple in general. Releasing information sooner and in better detail as factual would have diffused this As it is it appears a thug thief was approached by an officer and the thug got aggressive and assaulted the officer the thug thinking the officer was going to arrest him for his thievery we still need to hear the full sequence to determine fault. The public initially thought an innocent teen was shot. Therefore outrage and anger ensued. The body language this thug exhibited towards the store owner when the owner tried to stop his theft speaks volumes about this young man and his attitude towards authority we’ ll have to wait for more information about the shooting event and how it happened

Many of the police are military veterans who are used to smacking down “sub-humans” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe one day Americans will be infiltrating the police so they can shoot the police chief like they do in Kabul.

Maybe they could retrieve the APC they gave to Waukesha, Wisconsin, the one the cops used to arrest a guy they knew was carrying a broken Airsoft he got out of the garbage.

Well that mean my local PD cant get the M-1A1 tank darn.

I think Levin was speaking without enough knowledge; again. Obviously the cops rarely if ever are involved in shoot outs with “drug cartels’. The police dept.‘s need this gear for the kinds of suspects they’re going after these days. Are they supposed to put themselves in the same position as the cops at the North Hollywood Bank of America bank robbery. On that day cops again faced the kinds of wagons they been seeing even before this incident. But this one attracted the media because of scale of the crime. The suspects were carrying a Type 56 assault rifle that had been illegally modified, a Bushmaster X-15 Dissipator, and a HK-91 with a high capacity drum magazine. They also were protected by highly effective bullet proof vests.
The police need the kinds of weapons, vests, and vehicles they can get for a very reduced price from the military. Obviously we don’t want the police treating us like we are the enemy. But in many cases the police have been put in the situation where they need as much protection as they can get. In Ferguson they were dealing with a large group of hostile people that were trying to do them great harm.
ASK YOURSELF! Would you want to walk into a large riot with no protection and without the best weapons you could have? I doubt it!
That being said there needs to be some kind of oversight of police in general to avoid abuses of power. I’ve only had problems radar cops; but I think they’re abusing power. Modern freeways can handle higher speeds. Why don’t they go after the big problem; slow drivers in the center and left lanes.
But I still do intend to shoot at or through things at cops! If I did I would need to dealt with.

These Towns are Not Paying Much of Nothing, in Fact Many Equipment and Vehicles are Just Being Transfered of Ownership! This is Legal and This type of Practice should Be Stopped On Much of the Equip. There is No Need for Small Towns in Iowa or any To have the use or Merely the Need for MRAP, which many are getting because of the Push that is being used by Top Govt Officials to have All these Weapons and Vehichles so that These So called equip is Not Counted for When Doing the Counts for Armament! This Also Gives these DoD Areas the Proof that The shown use of Funding. So that it will Continue to receive the Quartly Fundings that each of these Depts Recv! It’s basically if not used then they Loose the amount of Funding the next quarter! I was in supply and Know Exactly how they do it and get away with it.

Bronco46, If you think that the Cops need MRAPs and Lasers and Full fledged Miliary gear in your Town, then That is the Problem with your State Reps and the Lack of USEFULLness in the Police who are Not Curbing Down the Crime. The Police is Not the Military and Should Never be Acting Like Such, Period! Regardless of This Very Rare Incident in that Town. The Police have A Tactical Unit that Are Trained to handle those Situations however, The Entire Force Should Never be Used in Such a Manner. That action Only makes the Public more Out to Not Have Any Trust in them which, seems to be the way Most feel about the Police. The Motto of the Police used to Always be; “..To Protect and SERVE” However, That has Totally gone away. It is Not even on there Cruisers anymore, which was always a Prominent Thing years ago. The Totall Abuse of Power and Equipment Must Be Brought back Otherwise, I feel that the Public Will Never have Trust in the Police Anymore. As for these Drug Cartels, the crazy stuff we hear about in Mexico very rarely happens here in the US. The Amount that ever happens in this Country Is Not Warranted the Police to Act as the Military in any fashion. I can understand the use of the high capacity an high power weapons to be used with Drug Cartels or Drug houses, because these criminals have been getting their hands on these high capacity/power weapons themselves but, these so-called Shoot outs or any thing like in Mexico Very Rarely in Not ever happens here, so to say that the Police Need any of these Military Assault Vehicles such as the MRAPs and any other Heavy Vehicles is Not Necessary period. It They Should Ever have the Need for Such, Then It’s the Govr. who Should be Calling Upon the National Guard to handle the Situation, That’s what they are For! It’s Not the Police! Also, a lot of the Problems is the People Not Voting for the Appropriate Person to Lead in the Fight to Curb All of these issues. Plus if the Stupid Govt would get Off this So-called War on Drugs, I think that A majority I the Drug issues would simply go away, with the exception of some crazy wacks. But, most of the problems with all these drug issues are mainly caused by the Govt being in Everyone’s Business and Not Allowing The Citizens Just be Free to Do their own thing. Too big of Govt and These JACKWAGONS are trying to Spread it into Every single part of Every Citizen and that Has to Change!

I don’t understand all the fuss over this. The talking heads on the news keep asking why police need armored vehicles, and “military style riot gear”. But no one is posing the question: why don’t the cops need those things? It’s either being over looked, or intentionally ignored, but the vast majority of the equipment that police departments are receiving is defensive in nature.

Is a mine resistant vehicle scary looking? Sure. But would you rather an injured, or dead police officer? The cops in Ferguson are getting shot at, and fire bombed, and more. A regular squad car isn’t going to take those kind of attacks for very long, if at all. So much fuss over officer protection is just shameful.

And another thing. Sound cannons and tear gas are far less likely to cause injury than physical contact. Such a stink is being raised over those things, but the alternative is close contact with, at the very least, belligerent crowds. Distance is a cops best friend, and the above mentioned things help to provide just that.

Like Michelle McCaskill said, only 5% of equipment transfered to police departments is actually weapons. The rest is safety and defensive equipment. You shouldn’t be scared of cops in riot gear if you are PEACEFULLY protesting; i.e not rioting. Christ, my mom was 9 years old during the Watts Riots. Back then, ACTUAL, literal tanks rolled through her front yard. If the people in Ferguson think they have it bad now, they’re forgetting their own history . Jeez people.

What you are saying is that We the Public should have Militarized Police in are Streets! That is totally agreeing with these idiots in DC. Our Constitution protects the Public from this very thing. That is why there is the National Guard! The Police are Only Supposed to be there for the Purpose of Protecting and SERVING the PUBLIC! Not to be USED as a Military Force! When there is problems of abuse of Powers by Police and all the Other such things that are Completely going against the Motto of “To protect and Serve” then, You will have DisTrust to the Police and therefore, having some civil protests and then there are such idiots of THUGGS who wish to bring the peaceful protests to have Chaos and violence that are being used as Provocateurs to have all the Violence Spread. Once that occurs then the Governor Should be bringing in the National Guard to bring the Situation at ease! So, To have the So-called Militarized Forces to come in at first is Ridiculous and the Pressure should be placed on the Govnr for Not bringing the NG in the first place.

The US Constitution says nothing about the municipal police. Have you ever even read the US constitution? It’s a one page document. Maybe you should actually read it.

I didn’t say anything about Municpal Police or that it did! All I said is that it protects against the Basic Military being used against the Public! That is exactly what this govt has done to the Police and that is a Total Militarized Actions and Training. The so-called Municipal Police Should Never been used in this manner! That is what the National Guard is For and There should have been measures to have used them when the Riots or Looting was taking place. Seems that more and more of the Dumb Down Population doesn’t have a Clue of what and how the Corrupt Govt can do what they want and get away with it all!

Maybe the DOD should transfer unwanted items to third world govt’s that actually need the equipment and are fighting terrorists. Arming our own police force with this equipment is NOT what America stands for.

Congress thank you Jesus put a stop to that. The A-10 (flying bathtub) is the best CAS bird the Air Force has in it’s inventory and no joint strike fighter can do it’s job. If you remember right before we kicked Sadaams azz out of kuwait the first time the A-10’s were set to be mothballed. The infamous HIGHWAY OF DEATH proved it’s worth. Seems like when something is working great someone has to dick around with it or try and get frid of it. I guess Feinstein’s husband will lose this attempt seeing both are major shareholders in a defense contractor just like many RINO’S.….…SoLoRoNiN.…end transmission

So you’re saying that the National Guard should be called in for every active shooter situation? Or barricaded gunman, etc? The police are armed the way they are to speedily react to situations that require more than a 3a gun vest, and a side arm.

And you sound like a conspiracy nut, so I’m not even going to address your whacky “government is out to get you” rant.

To those of you who are complaining about the police getting hand me down military gear, what happens when your child’s school becomes another columbine or sandyhook? Are you going to run in there and stop it? No, your gonna want me and the thousands of cops that are trained with military gear to do it. So stop your complaining and by the way we still serve and protect 365 24/7 even for you my friend.

So I keep hearing people say when things get that bad for the cops just call the national guard. Do any of you have a clue how long and what steps would be needed to get a national guard asset deployed in a time sensitive domestic emergency? Hostage situation, active shooters, officer down and under fire? I’m sure the national guards gonna get there in say a few DAYS!! A hood example, fondulac, wi. On march 20, 2011 officer Craig Birkholz was shot and killed by a former member if the military. Birkholz himself was former military. Birkholz was responding to an officer down call when the suspect who was in a second floor window engaged Birkholz with a scoped rifle. The initial officer that was shot in the chest was able to self evacuate himself however other officers and a female party remained trapped in the lower section of the home. Those individuals were rescued by a SWAT team utilizing an armored vehicle. Without a vehicle armored enough to withstand rifle fire was readily available there could’ve been more deaths and injuries. So why don’t you go ask those officers and the female if at that moment they felt that vehicle was overkill! Now I’m not saying every little police dept needs this however having one close enough to respond in an emergency and in a timely manner could very well mean life and death. Oh, and it wasn’t a drug cartel shooting at the police that day.

I live in a small town in western North Carolina . I know for a fact that only a small portion of our boys in blue have military training . And I’m sure that an even smaller portion were combat arms . Why do we need the mrap that we received ? Why does any police force need to have the capability to spray automatic weapon fire in a populated area drug cartel or not ? I think it would surprise the public at large if they knew the lack of real training that the majority of police forces get in regards to military equipment , and what lousy marksman some of those who have access to m16 a1’s are . Be afraid people ! Cops already have and abuse more power than they should be allotted and the day is not far off that we will see some “1984” shit go down . Oh wait too late .

Julian, I will be the first to say that all cops are expert marksman, they don’t need to be. The average officer involved shooting is from about 7′ away.
Regardless of that I know in my state that any officer that is issued an assault type firearm must qualify 8 times a year with said weapon day or night. As far as the mrap is concerned, getting close enough to a scene in the most safe and effective way has always been the best way. The steel in cars today is not what it was years ago.

As always, the facts are yes, a SWAT element of some type is always necessary in America ever since military type firearms (of the magazine type) have been on American soil. Same with the vehicles (Cadillac Gages have been in the inventory since the 70’s I believe?).

Would the gangsters of the early 20th century (in the “golden age of American gun rights”) have been dealt with faster with an organized SWAT team equivalent of that time? Or would a bunch of people with guns that’s never drilled together with no oversight work as effectively/lawfully?

The fact that LEO have to work on the issues of either gathering intel/evidence before using Tactical teams appropriately or emergency response usually ties their hands.

Still, if SWATTING can occur, no one is brave enough to “snitch” on the right targets however (bribes, drug money, and corruption). One can wish.

And if you didn’t, there would be no end to the complaining.

I guess bozo thinks the Ferguson police are a “federal police force.”

The problem with this is that the equipment often falls into the hands of said terrorists because the majority or third world police forces are corrupt or incompetent. You couldn’t pay me enough to have Afghan police “protecting” me if I was rolling down the streets of Kabul in a vehicle. One moment you think you’re safe, the next one of them shouts “allah ahkbar” and kills you with an AK-47.

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