Police Militarization

The police should not have the heavy weapons used by the military.  It invites excessive force and it's psychologically provocative to a population that already distrusts the police—by all accounts they should be seeking to do their jobs with as little force as possible, not rolling down the streets in armored personnel carriers like an occupying army.

Why do the police have armored personnel careers now?  Thank the federal 1033 Program, which has handed out $4.3 billion in our tax dollars' worth of surplus military hardware to other federal and state agencies.

Outside The Beltway has argued that "the war on drugs has done incalculable damage to the character of law enforcement by encouraging police officers to forget they are civilians".  Riding around in taxpayer-paid MRAPS with taxpayer-paid machine guns probably hasn't helped.

What hardware do your local police possess as a result of Program 1033?  Sorry, that's classified—the Defense Logistics Agency refuses to release the names of specific agencies for "security reasons".

You can, however, track 1033 Program acquisitions down to the county level.