The military-grade pepper-spray that’s been all the rage with law enforcement agencies is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to an advanced arsenal of weaponry made available to police departments across the country.
It has become clear now that local PDs are stockpiling some seriously dangerous doodads free of cost as part of a little-known program from the Pentagon. You can thank Uncle Sam, the Department of Defense and your own American tax dollars for the 1033 Program, an initiative that is giving hundreds of millions of bucks’ worth of military hardware from the DoD and putting it in the hands of your favorite neighborhood cop.
In 2011 alone, the Department of Defense forked over roughly $500 million worth of military machinery to law enforcement agencies coast-to-coast that would have been left otherwise unused. In many instances, however, the goods are grabbed by sheriffs in smaller jurisdictions that don’t have much need for the weaponry, other than to install fear within the community. The Daily reports that, according to documents made available by the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency, among those items offered up to officers at no cost at all last year were grenade launchers, helicopters, military robots, M-16 assault rifles and armored vehicles.