Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

Central Coast Police Receive Equipment From Military

Central Coast Police Receive Equipment From Military



but for more than a decade police departments across the country including some here on the Central Coast have taken billions of dollars worth of equipment from the US military now for the first time we're getting a look at exactly what items the Department of Defense has given out to the police they include two grenade launchers obtained by the Santa Maria Police Department this is an m79 launcher it was made for military combat in Vietnam and when the Department of Defense no longer needed it they put it on the list of items available to any law enforcement agency who wanted it the Santa Maria Police Department took two first of all I think it's a shame that that is even offered to a police department Santa Barbara Police Chief cam Sanchez doesn't criticize other chiefs for taking surplus military equipment he knows they may have smaller budgets and bigger crime issues but Sanchez has made the decision not to take any equipment from the military in 23 years as achieved we've never done it I just think that we have a specific role in our community and I think we need to stick to it if if something happens where we need military equipment and i'll call the military to come and help me but I'm not going to store it because we are not the military the previous chief of the Santa Maria Police Department had a different philosophy in the past we have received significant amount of surplus equipment Santa Maria City Councilman Jack boysen says since no money changed hands city leaders didn't know the extent of military equipment obtained by Santa Maria's prior police chief boysen says when Ralph Martin took over as chief in 2012 he told council about the large amount of military gear he had inherited commander Phil Hansen says he's unaware of Santa Maria PD acquiring any more military equipment in the two years he's been on the job working under Martin if we have a need for it we'll keep it and use it we use a lot of stuff that we have a need for things that we've identified that we don't have a need for we are we be there given back or we're in the process of giving a lot of that Hanson says Santa Maria PD once had nine military humvees they've returned all but two of them with one now converted into an educational tool used for the dare program I my position is it's not the equipment itself is how it's used as drm oh okay he says over 1033 program save cities and counties money on equipment that includes more benign items like this truck full of office supplies emergency preparedness kits and first aid equipment all provided free of charge by the Department of Defense you'll hear figures thrown out there about the billions and billions of dollars in support and that's true but that doesn't necessarily equate to billions of dollars in weapons and armored vehicles it's a broad spectrum program that really has a variety of benefits to it as for that grenade launcher it's really not a grenade launcher if you don't have grenades for it commander Hanson showed us what they do have that can be launched teargas projectiles and rubber bullets the way this weapon has been employed on the department it's not to take lives it's to save lives and we don't have anything like a high explosive round in our inventory but this is a military weapon from the 1960s there's got to be something better more modern that's why we're sending this back shortly after we requested an interview about the two grenade launchers Hanson says he got approval to return them to the Department of Defense those two particular launchers were not even using anymore because we have updated versions that were built for the civilian domestic law enforcement use that are better quality and more accurate so those are slated to be returned back to the government actually poison the Santa Maria City Councilman thinks there needs to be more independent oversight of the equipment transferred from the military to local police we should know if we're accumulating or stockpiling significant amount of these sort of equipment other local law enforcement agencies have used the military surplus program frequently the Santa Barbara County Sheriff has taken at 9.4 million dollars in equipment from the Department of Defense the Ventura County Sheriff's Department has taken more than 21 million dollars in equipment from the DoD the San Luis Obispo City Police Department 1.2 million for a link to search all departments that have taken part in the 1033 program that shows exactly what equipment each department has received you can go to our website kcci.com


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