‘Close to 200 state and local police departments in the United States have been suspended for losing military-level equipment transferred to them by the Pentagon, a new investigation found.
According to the media outlet Fusion, its independent investigation into the Pentagon’s ’1033 program,’ which equips state and local police departments across the US with excess military equipment, turned up an alarming trend: Not only did many law enforcement agencies fail to comply with the program’s guidelines, they routinely lost dangerous weaponry.
Already, the investigation has found that police departments in Arizona, California, Mississippi, Missouri, Georgia, and others have lost or cannot account for various types of weapons. This list includes M14 and M16 assault rifles, .45-caliber pistols, shotguns, and even vehicles.’
Read more: Dozens of police departments suspended for losing US military-grade weaponry
Tanks on the Streets? Police Required to Use Military Equipment within a Year or Return It
‘The militarization of America’s police forces has been the result of federal policy that not only provides the means to give men-in-blue the same tools as combat soldiers, but in fact requires law enforcement to “use it or lose it” when it comes to military equipment.
Specifically, the Department of Defense’s 1033 program—which funnels all kinds of military surplus goods to police—has a provision that clearly says that any participating law enforcement agency must use its equipment within one year of receiving it. If they don’t, they have to give it up.’