Militarization of Police

Cop Militarization in NY: Every MRAP, Cargo Plane, and $800 Coffee Pot


MuckRock, a site dedicated to making Freedom of Information requests, has released a massive document detailing every single piece of military-grade equipment owned by police departments throughout New York.

Here's a map of it all:

Some of the findings:

The village of Quogue on Long Island's south shore boasts fewer than 1,000 residents, but last month its police department received two surplus military trucks worth a combined $150,000.

Since enrolling in the same program in 2012, police in Albion, a village of 6,000 near the Canada border, have added a bomb robot and two Humvees to inventory. …

Since enrolling in 1995, the NYPD has obtained four armored trucks valued at $65,000 each and two former artillery vehicles known as mortar carriers valued at more than $200,000 each. The NYPD received one such heavily armored vehicle in June 2012.

The New York State Police received two cargo planes, one in 1996 and another in 2010, together valued at $2.8 million, as well as a $900,000 helicopter in 2013.

The New York State Park Police also obtained a dozen M-14 rifles and two military trucks.

University police at three State University of New York campuses have received equipment through the 1033 program: police at Morrisville, Oneonta and Old Westbury each obtained one Humvee and three assault rifles since 2011.

The law enforcement division within the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation received 68 M-16 rifles, all in May 2012. …

Combined, New York law enforcement agencies have received nearly 300 assault rifles via the program, plus three fully tracked armored vehicles, two cargo planes, six helicopters, eight bomb robots and more than 150 military trucks and Humvees.

The document, released by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, is a treasure trove of information that deserves a close inspection from taxpayers curious why the Police Department of Southampton, a town 26 feet above sea level, needs climbing boots. Or a camera apparently with pictures already on it.

U.S. Army Materiel Command / / CC BY

There's a lot more eyebrow-raising equipment that one wouldn't think of as conventional military gear. Suffolk County police got 20 televisions. Nassau County received a coffee maker worth nearly $800. The Rye Police Department got $2,500 exercise bike.

More than 120 departments in the state have received some 6,221 items worth $28,082,595.11.

Late last year when Albany County got a mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle (MRAP), an 18-ton behemoth designed for asymmetrical warfare in Iraq, Sheriff Craig Apple praised the vehicle for being "intimidating." In nearby Warren County, Undersheriff Shawn Lamouree, who also got an MRAP, stated that his department needed one because "it's very common for people to have high-powered hunting rifles."

All this equipment comes from the Defense Department's 1033 Program, which offers domestic law enforcement surplus military gear, like grenade launchers, for the price of shipping. Since 2006, cops nationwide have received some 80,000 rifles, 12,000 bayonets, $3.6 million worth of camouflage, and much more. In total, the program has transferred over $5 billion worth of equipment.

Police have participated in a number of high-profile shootings and aggressive crowd control with military equipment, and since the death of Michael Brown and the subsequent treatment of protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, the president has called for a review of the 1033 Program, and Congress is considering how to better "monitor and hold accountable" cops with MRAPs, grenade launchers, and other sophisticated gear. 

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  1. RE: alt-text

    Strasser: Are you one of those people who cannot imagine the Germans in their beloved Paris?
    Rick: It’s not particularly my beloved Paris.
    Heinz: Can you imagine us in London?
    Rick: When you get there, ask me!
    Renault: Hmmh! Diplomatist!
    Strasser: How about New York?
    Rick: Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.

  2. I’m surprised to find people still live in NY. Why? Sadists?

      1. Cuz I like life on the Insanity difficulty setting…..
        but seriously i have no idea why i ever came back to the regressive north, family i guess… god i didn’t need to think about this today

  3. To protect and serve… the government.

  4. Sort of OT, but I had to leave the room last night when my wife was watching Scandal. The premise is a woman who is a “fixer” for the president. President’s daughter is drunk and sick at a party and they need to get her out without anyone getting pictures with their nasty cell phones. So the fixer makes a call to guy, and tells him to shut down all the cell phones at that location. Which he is able to do quickly at his computer screen. Bip..blip…boop….all the little cell phone icons on that block blink out.

    This is of course potrayed as a good thing. Which is why I left the room.

    1. This is why sports are the only thing I’ll watch on tv. It’s all TOP MEN,control, and shitty writing.

    2. WTF? They could possibly shut down the cell service, but the cameras would still work.

      1. Probably why they are pushing “Kill” Switches for mobile phones. California passed theirs just last month. So, that capability is already on the way.

  5. S.G. Erickson: Why the Police Need M1A1s, Bradleys, 120mm Mortars

    “It’s for the Children.”

  6. Yesterday, in Boulder, they caught the guy who had escaped from Jefferson County Jail last week. Apparently he ran his car into an MRAP the BPD had lying around.

    1. Well, this obviously is the data point the administration needs to be able to put a positive spin on the program.

    2. Figures those nazis would have a MRAP. They were the ones who taught me to never trust the police under any circumstances.

    3. It would be funnier if the collision left the MRAP irreperably damaged.

    4. The point: Cops are so lazy and useless that a vehicle they had pretty much abandoned was able to do their job better than they were.

  7. Police have participated in a number of high-profile shootings . . .

    Hmm, maybe we should hold the military responsible – get a lawsuit filed like the anti-gun crowd has tried to do with firearm manufacturers.

  8. “12,000 bayonets”. Can someone please tell me what a police officer could possibly use a bayonet for? I don’t agree with any of the equipment LEO’s are getting through the 1033 program. But, everyone seems to focus on the armored vehicles. To me the bayonets are much worse. I can actually see where a MRAP could be useful in a sniper situation. A bayonet really only has one use, hand to hand combat.

    1. Doubly so on an M-16/AR-15. Try to stab someone with a bayonet fixed to one of those and your more likely to break the rifle than hurt your target.

      1. That the MRAP is as useful in a sniper situation as the Brinks armored truck that moves the weekly payroll to the bank – at 3 times the cost.

      2. I’m not so sure about that. Having been through bayonet training myself I can tell you that an M-16A2 service rifle with attached bayonet is a very deadly combination.

  9. I’m no conspiracy guy but it is ironic that the Feds are equipping local PDs with the same weapons the Army used for the Iraq occupation.

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