A Dayton Daily News investigation found budget-challenged Ohio departments are increasingly using military surplus to arm and equip their staff — last year acquiring a record $12 million in equipment and weapons through the Pentagon’s 1033 program.
That was more than a third of the $33 million in surplus gear obtained since the program started in the mid-1990s. On top of that, Ohio police have received more than 6,000 firearms valued at $2 million, mostly M16 assault rifles.
Law enforcement officials like Maj. Robert Chabali, who heads the Dayton Police SWAT team, said the program gets extra life out of military equipment already purchased with tax dollars while giving police access to equipment they couldn’t otherwise afford.
But critics say the program is fueling an increasing militarization of police that has civil rights and public safety implications. They say heavily armed SWAT teams, originally formed to respond to rare events like sniper and hostage situations, now often are used for routine police work like the execution of search warrants, sometimes resulting in botched raids and even deaths of innocent residents.
Read the rest of Tom Beyerlein’s article at Dayton Daily News.
Image: http://reason.com A Dayton Daily News investigation found budget-challenged Ohio departments are increasingly using military…
by Tactical-Life / May 14, 2012