Posted: 12:49 pm Monday, August 18th, 2014
By George Mathis
Ferguson police aren’t the only law enforcement agency that likes to use military hardware.
According to a database that catalogs where the Pentagon sent excess military equipment from September 2011 to September 2013, Georgia police agencies ranked 3rd in the number of items received and 4th in the total cost of obtained equipment.
Right next door, Alabama ranks first in total cost of equipment obtained. If the zombie apocalypse happens, the Southeast is locked and loaded.
The database, posted by MuckRock.com, also lists items sent to each state, but does not indicate which agency received a particular piece of equipment from the Pentagon’s 1033 program.
Georgia law enforcement agencies obtained a lot of benign equipment, such as 10,523 pair of “men’s drawers,” which I assume is underwear.
The most expensive group of items is 133 “utility trucks” worth an estimated $5 million.
Flashlights, which I pick up for about $20, are really expensive when the government buys them. Georgia police received about 1,500 flashlights worth almost $600,000. That means the average cost of each flashlight was more than $350.
Not sure what that flashlight does other than provide illumination, but I would like to see one in action unless it was being swung at my head.
I will attach a table below so you can see for yourself what Georgia police received, but here is a list of items that caught my eye:
- 1 mine resistant vehicle: $412,000
- 6,822 magazine cartridges: $68,959
- 567 adapter rails, weapon mounted: $330,000
- 5 armored trucks: $325,000
The database may contain errors. I say that because one MK3 Mod 0 is listed at almost $200,000, and even the Pentagon does not pay that much for what I think is a Navy Seal diving knife.
Overall, I’d say the list isn’t all that scary, but I’m no expert on military equipment.
But, if the Pentagon can ship almost half a billion in surplus equipment to police agencies in one year, like it did in 2013, maybe the Pentagon needs to spend less. And that folks, is my final joke of the day.
Note: In 2013, AJC reporter Rhonda Cook wrote an article presaging the “police militarization” headlines were are now reading.
States receiving surplus equipment
Equipment sent to Georgia via 1033 program
Participating police agencies in Georgia
About the Author
News to Me is a blog (not a news article) written Monday-Friday and any other day George finds spare time to do such a thing. George has been a local news editor with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution since 1999. Earlier attempts at journalism included stops in Valdosta, Cordele and Tifton. A lifelong resident of Georgia, he was raised in Berrien County. He’s fond of guitars, homemade beer and finding interesting news on the wire, Internet and Twitter.