Police have been obtaining surplus military equipment for years. The AJC photo archives contains this picture from 2007 of Doraville police with a  M13 vehicle.
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070410 Doraville Ga: Officer M. Joseph Shirley of the Doraville SWAT Perimeter Unit is an Operator of the M13 vehicle. He is giving the photographer a tour of the M13. Georgia police benefit from Pentagon surplus equipment program. Law enforcement agencies in small Georgia communities benefit from a Pentagon program in which these departments can get at no cost everything from helicopters and armored vehicles to uniforms, weapons and boots. The program re-uses excess material purchased by the taxpayers without the locals having to pay out more for big-ticket items that normally would be out of reach for many small-town budgets. April 10, 2007 (Renee' Hannans Henry/Staff).

Georgia police hoarding military surplus

Police have been obtaining surplus military equipment for years. The AJC photo archives contains this picture from 2007 of Doraville police with a  M13 vehicle.
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070410 Doraville Ga: Officer M. Joseph Shirley of the Doraville SWAT Perimeter Unit is an Operator of the M13 vehicle. He is giving the photographer a tour of the M13. Georgia police benefit from Pentagon surplus equipment program. Law enforcement agencies in small Georgia communities benefit from a Pentagon program in which these departments can get at no cost everything from helicopters and armored vehicles to uniforms, weapons and boots. The program re-uses excess material purchased by the taxpayers without the locals having to pay out more for big-ticket items that normally would be out of reach for many small-town budgets. April 10, 2007 (Renee' Hannans Henry/Staff).
Police have been obtaining surplus military equipment for years. The AJC photo archives contains this picture from 2007 of Doraville police with a  M113 armored vehicle.

Police have been obtaining surplus military equipment for years. The AJC photo archives contains this picture from 2007 of Doraville police with a M113 armored vehicle.

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


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