General Question

ibstubro's avatar

What do you think about the Defense Department program that transfers surplus military equipment to state and local police departments?

Asked by ibstubro (18636points) August 14th, 2014


How much would it cost to have an armored Humvee or MRAP delivered and painted?

What is the life expectancy of such a vehicle, given the specialized maintenance of a military vehicle?

How does the 5 MPG work out?

How is the exceptional ‘operational training’ funded?

Are local police now operating on a Pentagon budget, where a new taillight might be $5,000?

Could you ride around in a bright blue Humvee, and not feel like Rambo?

Oops. I might have played my hand a little with that last one or 5.

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11 Answers

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

It is a feel good measure; we all know the streets of the US is teeming with bad guys. ~~ If it were a case like Katrina where anarchy is breaking out, I can see, other than that, it seems a little like overkill to me. I have had several discussions with people I know over crime since our city somehow got ranked as the 33rd most dangerous city in the US by population. Some believe more cops and vehicles like those are the solution. Others believe it won’t help; police are reactive and not proactive, they only come into play after something happens. They believe the solution is to reach those of society most at risk and steer them from crime to begin with. If I was going to spend money on something 600k it would not get 5 mpg but 0–60 in under 5 second, then maybe I would not care if it got 5 mpg.

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tinyfaery's avatar

They shouldn’t have a surplus. They obviously are not spending our tax dollars well.

zenvelo's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Katrina wasn’t a case of anarchy breaking out, it was a case of government abandoning the population, and no one needed surplus military gear.

My thoughts on this topic are: we no longer have police in the United States, we have paramilitary forces. Did you notice how much more effective the head of the Missouri State troopers was without armor and wearing only a side arm?

Cops don’t need more than sidearm. Anything else is overkill. And the police have killed more since 2000 in the US than terrorists have.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Well said @zenvelo. The town I use to live in (still have family there) has a population of, perhaps, 1,000, and lies in a rural area where the most exciting thing is usually busting someone with a joint in their car or catching kids out past curfew. Yet the 6 man police force (why a village of 1,000 even needs 6 full time officers is beyond me) is decked out like a goddamn SWAT team.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

We don’t need militarized police. They don’t make people feel safe, they make people feel targeted and like we’re enemies in a war zone. It’s completely uncalled for, but the way I see it, America is rapidly turning into a police state, so it’s not at all surprising.

cazzie's avatar

They should’ve been buying library books and horses. Mounted police seem somehow kind and authoritative. Police on horses and more books in the public libraries. More library programs for kids.

dabbler's avatar

Military equipment is a poisonous influence on police forces because it comes with militarized training and tactics. The military is trained to confront a hostile enemy while police should be members of the community, to protect and serve.

The only reasons I can think of for that kind of equipment is for the kinds of confrontations SWAT teams were established – where the perpetrators are heavily armed and known to be dangerous, drug cartels, mobsters, ...

But the real reason that passed in the first place is just to make more business for the arms dealers.

ibstubro's avatar

It was reported that fully ⅓ of the equipment given to the police by the military is unused. Vehicles that the American people paid $650,000 for being turned immediately on the American people. Injury to insult.

Constant war military action and we’re still paying for more arms than can be used, by a large percent.

ibstubro's avatar

I may be unique on Fluther, @Dutchess_III, in that Florissant Avenue in St. Louis is one of my ‘haunts’ that I have traveled and crossed dozens, if not hundreds of times. I have gassed up at the burned out QT.

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