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Davis acquires mine-resistant war vehicle while some complain of militarization of police

08/20/2014 12:35 PM

08/27/2014 8:44 AM

Davis police picked up a hulking, $689,000 armored vehicle at no cost in recent weeks. Sacramento police got two helicopters, one used for spare parts. The Placer County Sheriff’s Office has obtained about 50 rifles, tourniquets, boots and an old armored car that it no longer uses.

All of the equipment has come to these law enforcement agencies and others throughout the region for free, part of a years-old federal program that allows the Defense Department to dole out excess military equipment to law enforcement agencies for use in combating drug trafficking or other crimes.

More than 8,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide have acquired equipment ranging from aircraft to office supplies to weapons through what the Defense Logistics Agency calls its “1033 Program.” Law enforcement officials say the program helps their cash-strapped agencies obtain expensive and valuable assets to bolster anti-crime efforts.

Civil libertarians and others question whether the federal government hand-me-downs are needlessly adding to the military nature of some police departments. The ongoing strife in Ferguson, Mo., between heavily armored police units and street protesters is drawing new attention to the issue.

Sacto 911 Staff

Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com
@Lindelofnews

Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Andy Furillo
Superior Court
afurillo@sacbee.com
@andyfurillo

Denny Walsh
Federal Court
dwalsh@sacbee.com

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