Police Departments request military equipment to fight "war on drugs"
For police departments to receive military gear, they have to send a request to the Pentagon. Through the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military equipment have been given out to police officers each year.
Mother Jones has obtained more than 450 of these requests and has found that the most frequently cited reason for needing an armored vehicle is to fight drugs. At least seven departments cited marijuana in their vehicle requests.
Some other requests made by police departments according to Mother Jones:
One police chief pleaded for a Lenco BearCat—an armored personnel carrier with blast resistant floors and an optional gun turret—to guard a 200-acre beach town in Delaware. In Chesterfield County, South Carolina—population 46,000—the sheriff requested a vehicle that could withstand both roadside bombs and a type of machine gun round that can shatter concrete. And the Ohio State University Police Department asked for an armored vehicle to assist with "football missions."
Law enforcement agencies have argued that this type of military equipment is necessary because no community is safe from mass shootings, hostage situations, or terrorist attacks.
Do you think the militarization of police is getting out of control? Why or why not?
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.
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