Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

Small town police stock up on military gear

Small town police stock up on military gear



you may have heard about the federal program where local police are able to acquire old military gear that has some asking if there's too much militarization of local police Fox 11 investigates dug into the data and Robert hornacek is here this morning with what he found good morning good morning Rachel you know this is the data that we sifted through over the last week or so and we found a couple things stuck out to us first there's a lot of old military equipment coming to local police and it's not just armored vehicles and weapons and we found that some small departments in Northeast Wisconsin are some of the biggest users of the program this is the Townsend Police Department the entire towns in Police Department with the small town force lacks in manpower this is our command center it more than makes up for this is just one of our semis in horsepower we utilize this piece of equipment in spring through the fall almost monthly Humvees SUVs semis all former military vehicles that are now police vehicles it's part of what's called the 1033 program where old military equipment is transferred to local police all the local department has to pay for is shipping while Townsend does not have any armored vehicles or high-powered weapons the small town is one of the state's largest users of the program so how much military equipment does the Townsend Police Department have well since 2012 the department has received more than 60 different types of equipment from the federal government including ten different vehicles total value of all this military equipment more than eight hundred and eighty-eight thousand dollars this generator here's a one hundred kilowatt generator when akash beck is chief of police in townsend he says this generator is a perfect example of how the program works earlier this month storms tore through townsend knocking out power town chairman bruce caro says thanks to one of the town's three military generators emergency crews stayed out of the dark so we had access to everything that we needed when the whole rest of the region was out of power would Townsend have that generator if it weren't for this program probably not ash Beck who also serves as the Wahby no police chief says all of this equipment is shared by agencies throughout the region if we had to pay dollar for dollar what a piece of equipment like this is worth chances are small agency and departments again I will never be able to obtain a piece of equipment like this the area's search and rescue team has more than 100 people on it and ash Beck says all of them have access to Townsend stockpile of military gear it's not just the two police officers what do you say to people who would question the amount of equipment Townsend has what I'd say that is that the equipment that we do have we do utilize and just to have equipment in our Arsenal here to use for search and rescue for police work is a huge cost savings to the taxpayers that's outrageous that really is Richard parents from the brown County taxpayers Association doesn't buy that I think they just they saw this huge opportunity to get a lot of stuff for nothing and they took advantage of it now Townsend is not the only small department taking advantage of this program coming up tonight on Fox 11 News at five and nine we'll hear from a small department in Brown County we'll find out how much gear they have and why they say the program makes sense and if you'd like to check out how much military gear your Police Department has we've posted the entire list on our website just go to Fox 11 online.com and click on the investigates yeah that list is long that's a lot of data you had to go through how big is this program well you know since 2012 there have been about 85 different police agencies in Wisconsin that have participated in this program and they've received equipment that's worth more than 22 million dollars but that's really just the tip of the iceberg this program started all the way back in 1990 by the federal government and since then they've transferred more than four billion dollars worth of this equipment to local police and how how much does this program cost us the local community well in one sense this is equipment we've already paid for because this is old military equipment that the military is no longer using now communities do have to sign up and pay five hundred dollars so they can get access to this program again it's only open to law enforcement and after that the community really just has to pay for shipping or expert ation of these of the vehicles for example so the departments are really getting all of this equipment at a fraction of what they would otherwise pay for it critics say do they really need all this stuff they have to pay for maintenance one thing Townsend does they told me is for any major repairs they actually raised money through the community so they try to keep the cost down for the local community all right thanks Robert


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