Following up on growing concern about the militarization of American police departments in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting and official reaction to resulting protests, the New York Times published a map that breaks down the distribution of military equipment to law enforcement agencies around the United States. The equipment can be sorted by type and by county. It turns out that Connecticut has been an especially enthusiastic participant in the federal government's 1033 program for dispensing surplus armor, gear, and weapons to police. That includes 748 assault rifles snapped up by cops in a state that cracked down on civilian ownership of scary rifles very recently.
The map specifies that "Recipients may include state and local agencies based in this county," but that sort of differentiation hardly matters given the hostility of so many government officials (and right-thinking editorialists) to firearms ownership by the unwashed masses.
According to the map, Connecticut counties received assault rifles in the following numbers since 2006.
- Fairfield County: 245
- Hartford County: 231
- Litchfield County: 19
- Middlesex County: 6
- New Haven County: 137
- New London County: 56
- Tolland County: 23
- Windham County: 31
Because, as the last week has demonstrated, professional police agencies can be trusted with loads of military toys. But civilians…Well, I guess we just have to watch out, carefully, for the professionals.