Since the 1990s, the Department of Defense has transferred surplus military equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies under the 1033 Program. (See also Most of America’s Big Cities Prioritize Police over Health and Social Support. )
To find the local police with the most federal equipment, 24/7 Wall Street researched data on federal equipment transfers. Defense Logistics Agency of the Department of Defense. Law enforcement agencies were ranked based on total military equipment transfers from 1990 to 2022. Statewide agencies were excluded. City and county population figures are five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey.
While many of the equipment transfers are non-lethal items such as ambulances, jackets, and binoculars, the program allows some divisions to sell camouflage uniforms, helicopters and other aircraft, sniper rifles, mine-resistant vehicles, and tactical armor. vehicle etc.
For example, the Buckeye Police Department in Buckeye, Arizona, received two Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, military vehicles designed to withstand improvised explosive attacks and ambush attacks. A police spokesman said mine-resistant vehicles are used by SWAT teams for tactical operations such as barricades and search warrants, as well as for responding to shooting scenes.
Most of the states receiving the most federal military equipment overall are the southern great states such as Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia. Adjusted for population, however, the state receiving the most federal equipment per capita is North Dakota. For example, the Jamestown Police Department in Jamestown, North Dakota (a city of approximately 16,000 people) will receive over $3 million in surplus military equipment from him in 2021, including an armored Humvee. (This is America’s largest police station. )
Click here to see America’s most militarized local police force and the equipment they own.