Guns and Ammo: Orange County Law Enforcement Agencies Grab More Than $4.2 Million in Surplus Military Equipment

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Thanks to a giveaway program, Orange County law enforcement agencies have received more than $4.2 million in military-grade equipment from the U.S. Department of Defense.

From chemical-biological masks, to chapel lecterns, police here have snapped up a booty of armor to help them protect and serve our fair county.

The Anaheim Police Department picked up an armored vehicle valued at more than $65,000. That was in 1997, during the dawn of the surplus giveaway program.


California Watch, a project of the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting, has released a report on the Defense Department's giveaway program, which has seen more than 17,000 public law enforcement agencies throughout the nation haul in roughly $2.8 billion in surplus military equipment in the two decades since Congress created the program.

From California Watch:

California police accumulated more equipment during 2011 than any other year in the equipment-transfer program's two-decade history, according to a California Watch analysis of U.S. Department of Defense data. 

A total of 163,344 new and used items valued at $26.2 million - from bath mats acquired by the sheriff of Sonoma County to a full-tracked tank for rural San Joaquin County - were transferred last year to state and local agencies.




According to the report, the Orange County Sheriff's Department -- in a 2003 equipment transfer that would cause the "American Pickers" to squirt their pants -- landed a communication subsystem valued at more than $1 million. 

Yahtzee!

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8 comments
Chip Douglas
Chip Douglas

Shame on those bad police for being financially responsible. They should be spending our tax dollars on brand new tactical and much more expensive equipment.

Tactical flash
Tactical flash

Occuring nationwide.  The "Militarization" of law enforcement has been in the works since the late 70's.  It has been in high speed since the early 80's. Get ready folks, We are in for a crazy ride. 

909Jeff
909Jeff

I'm confused about the purpose of this story?  I mean usually a story has a purpose.... What is the point? There is no conclusion...  Is it a good story because the local cops are saving money on previously enjoyed equipment? Or Is it a negative story that our police forces are getting old military equipment? 

Remember back to freshman comp when your professor graded your papers and included in the critique. "Complete your thought" 

909Jeff
909Jeff

And there's the agenda! Another guy who probably rocks a tinfoil hat. 

Butterercup
Butterercup

 I'm with you 909Jeff, I was waiting for the "point" of this story, but I've concluded it's at the top of "Tactical Flash's"  head... and if he doesn't "get" that reference? He must be UNDER 50.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

And that's why we're reporters and you're a loyal commenter!

Tactical flash
Tactical flash

If you have no clue then you are over 50 years old.

vigilante
vigilante

 LOL dude, you "reporters" can't EVER claim to be straightforward about your points in this day in age of infotainment and disinformation. Journalistic integrity is a thing of the past.

I'm exactly with 909 Jeff here, am I supposed to feel safer with the police carrying 4.2 million dollars of military grade surplus? Or am I supposed to be freaking terrified??

So I'll write in what you guys eschew: You should be god damn freaked out. "THIS IS WHAT A POLICE STATE LOOKS LIKE!!!"

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