Police ‘militarization': What’s in the hands of local law enforcement?
WEST MICHIGAN – The so-called militarization of police in America is something that’s been in the national spotlight since the shooting of a black, unarmed teenager in Ferguson, MO.
FOX 17 has been taking a look at the arsenal that’s available to local and county law enforcement.
It’s all part of the 1033 program, run through the Department of Defense Law Enforcement Support Office.
LESO offers guns, ammo, mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles, even coffee makers, all at no cost. The items have already been paid for by American taxpayers.
Interested agencies can apply by filling out an application.
In the wake of the violence in Ferguson, both lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the Obama administration have indicated the future of the 1033 program will be reviewed.
A blog called The Free Thought Project has been tracking some of the items law enforcement agencies have received from the federal government.