TSA Conducting Random Searches on US Highways - - - Small Town Cops Pile Up on Useless Military Gear?
Wired.com reported that Small police departments across America are collecting military-grade arsenals thanks to a program that allows them to get their hands on military surplus equipment, amphibious tanks, night-vision goggles, and even barber chairs or underwear, at virtually no cost, except for shipment and maintenance.
In 2011 alone, more than 700,000 items were transferred to police departments for a total value of $500 million. This year, as of May 15, police departments already acquired almost $400 million worth of stuff. Last year’s record would have certainly been shattered if the Arizona Republic hadn’t revealed in early May that a local police department used the program to stockpile equipment – and then sold the gear to others, something that is strictly forbidden. Three weeks after the revelation, the Pentagon decided to partly suspend distribution of surplus mate... until all agencies could put together an up-to-date inventory of all the stuff they got through the years. A second effort, which gives federal grants to police departments to purchase equipment, is still ongoing, however. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, since 9/11, the grants have totaled $34 billion.
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