Do you want to know what military surplus equipment your favorite law enforcement division picked up under the 1033 program? Well, you're in luck! NPR has published its research in nice easy-to-search files on Google Drive. According to their analysis, only three percent of the transfers under the program were weapons – but there are still a lot of weapons in the bunch.
Is your city or county police department suddenly flush with bayonets? (Yes, I'm looking at you, Englewood and La Plata – WTF do you need with dozens of bayonets?!?!?) Did your county sheriff's office acquire more M16A1's and M14's than it had officers? (That might be you, El Paso County, with 44 M16's and 4 M14's…) Did your city find itself severely short of M16A1s the last time it had to control protesters (Colorado Springs – 140 M16's and 14 M14's)?
Or perhaps your department opted for a robot bomb disposal unit (we got a few, but let's give a special shout out to the bombing hotspots of Mesa and La Plata counties for picking up three each!), or what appears to be serious amounts of firefighting equipment (Archuleta seems like it went on a particular spree with intrenchment tools and packs…), or maybe just some utility vehicles.
Colorado's list is all here, sorted by organization. If you'd like it split out differently, or want to peruse other states' data, the complete data set is also available.
Here in Gilpin, we only picked up a pair of M14's. Useful in case of a terrorist attack on small-stakes gaming casinos (no, wait – the casino towns are Home Rule), or perhaps in order to deal with a particularly stubborn sovereign citizen holed up in his mountain cabin I suppose. Though I can't recall an incident where anything remotely resembling a SWAT team has been required up here.
I'm sure there's a good reason our little county needs them, though.
I'd also like to give a special recognition to the woefully under-equipped Denver Police, who picked up 50 M16's under the program to supplement the army they already parade about any time "radical leftist organizations" get together to protest.
And somehow I missed the Aurora PD picking up 150 M16's, 25 M14's, and almost 75 protective shields – and an MRAP.
I know Douglas County has a need for its acquisition of 54 M16's and 15 M14's.
And the Alamosa Sheriff's office will be using its 10 M14's and and 15 M16's in regular enforcement duties.
Seriously, folks – does this seem a bit over the top for some of these departments? Under 1033, each piece of equipment is supposed to be used by the department within a year of its transfer. Are we holding police military parades with this stuff in order to qualify?
Thanks for posting this, Phoenix.
Thought it would be interesting to folks here. Some of these purchases are large enough to make you go 'hmm…'.
Boys love toys.
More than interesting — chilling.
Hmm… the Eaton Police picked up 4 M16s and 4 .45 caliber pistols. Apparently, they wanted to outfit the whole department. Greeley picked up 72 M16s,10 M14s and an MRAP. The Weld County Sheriff's Dept got an MRAP of their own. Maybe they're planning an interesting float for the Stampede Parade.
Looks like Weld County is prepared for the inevitable violence following secession. The Hwy 85 corridor is secure.