Saturday, February 2, 2013

Georgia police acquired $200 million worth of military-grade vehicles and weapons through DoD

End the Lie compilation
Madison Ruppert, Contributor
Activist Post

Some 600 police departments and sheriff’s offices in Georgia have joined the many law enforcement agencies nationwide using military-grade equipment, once again raising concerns around local law enforcement’s need for such heavy duty weaponry.

As I reported in 2011, the Pentagon gives away military equipment to law enforcement agencies under the 1033 program in addition to military robots provided by the Department of Defense, police use of armored surveillance vehicles provided for nearly nothing by corporations, law enforcement use of tanks and armored personnel carriers and drones.

According to Georgia’s Department of Public Safety, the military equipment and weaponry owned by law enforcement agencies in the state is worth some $200 million, some of which is possessed by tiny departments with less than 20 officers.

In an attempt to justify this militarization, Bloomingdale Police Chief Roy Pike told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that “officers ‘are armed to meet any threat,’ so criminals should just stay away.”

“Having the equipment precludes having to use it,” Pike said. “In the 20 years I’ve been here, we haven’t had to use deadly force against anybody.”

Yet Pike’s department, with a mere 13 officers, acquired a grenade launcher for shooting tear gas, two M14 semiautomatic rifles and two semiautomatic M16 rifles all through the Pentagon’s 1033 program, according to the Journal-Constitution.

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, which had 117 sworn law enforcement officers as of 2010, according to their most recent annual report on their website, similarly obtained four grenade launchers.


Highlighting the absurdity and complete lack of necessity behind these acquisitions, the Journal-Constitution reported, “Several local law enforcement officials said if their agencies had to buy the stuff, they’d just do without most of it. But since it’s donated, they find a place for it.”

In other words, they really don’t need it, but since the military is giving it away, they take it anyway and simply “find a place for it,” whatever that means.

Emphasizing the absurdity of this type of activity, Tim Lynch, the director of the Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice said, “When this equipment is given away, police departments start saying, ‘Let’s grab it.’”

Once the military equipment is in the hands of law enforcement agencies, “we have militarized units going into the community in situations where they aren’t warranted,” Lynch said.

Lynch is also the editor of two books, has published articles in law journals and major newspapers, made appearances on national news shows, a member of the Wisconsin, District of Columbia and Supreme Court bars and is heavily involved with the Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project.

“This is one of the most alarming trends in American policing,” Lynch said, referring to the increasingly common militarization of local law enforcement.

“We used to call them peace officers and they would treat people … with more respect and civility,” he said to the Journal-Constitution. “We’re getting away from that. We’re getting into these military tactics and mindset that the people they (police) come into contact with are the enemy … and part of this is the militarized units in police departments.”

Indeed, it is only logical that the militarized training and military-grade equipment would create a military mindset officers who should be trained to protect and serve.

According to Georgia state records, some of the acquisitions include:
  • One armored truck, 106 M16s and eight M14s for the Cobb County Police Department (in addition to a second armored vehicle purchased using federal grant funds)
  • One armored personnel carrier, 15 M16s and 12 M14s for the Newnan Police Department
  • Two armored personnel carriers and 16 M15 rifles for the Waycross Police Department
  • One armored personnel carrier and 17 M14 rifles for the Cartersville Police Department
  • One helicopter, one armored truck, 11 M16s and five M14s for the Clayton County Police Department
  • One armored personnel carrier for the Doraville Police Department
  • One armored truck for the Georgia Department of Corrections
  • Seven armored vehicles for the Georgia Department of Homeland Security
  • Armored trucks for the Sandy Springs Police Department and Pelham Police Department along with the Gordon, Morgan, Oconee, Pickens and Walton county sheriff’s offices
Overall, some 600 law enforcement agencies in Georgia have obtained 3,532 military-grade rifles, eight grenade launchers, 26 armored trucks/personnel carriers and 26 “unaccounted for weapons,” according to the Journal-Constitution.

According to state records, the U.S. Department of Defense values each of the armored personnel carriers at nearly $245,000 and each of the armored trucks around $65,000.

State records did not list a value for the rifles or grenade launchers, although one can assume that they’re not all that cheap.

Unsurprisingly, proponents of the program claim they save lives – even though, as shown above, agencies say they could do without it if they had to actually buy it – and there is a waiting list of agencies itching to get their hands on armored vehicles and military weapons.

“It gives the … SWAT guys a protection to where they can get closer to the folks shooting at them,” said Don Sherrod.

Sherrod is the Director of Excess Property for the Georgia Department of Public Safety and overseer of the program for the Department of Defense.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety, “Excess Property was formally created in 1991 to provide a coordinated means for state and local law enforcement agencies to obtain excess Department of Defense (DOD) equipment.”

Excess Property also assists law enforcement agencies in purchasing equipment using Federal government contracts.

“When you pull up in something … and the bullets start bouncing off, they (criminals) give up,” Sherrod said.

While the Cobb County Police Department said their SWAT team uses their armored vehicles to remove people from a “hot zone” or get officers closer to a “volatile situation,” other agencies have not even used their equipment.

Captain Craig Dodson of the Carroll County Sherrif’s Office, for example, said they haven’t used their grenade launchers or any of their 65 M16 rifles.

“Our goal is to try to equip every patrolman in the law enforcement division with a rifle,” Dodson told the Journal-Constitution.

“The M16 … gives you more capability to penetrate body armor or to make long-distance shots if you are not able to get closer,” Dodson continued. “It’s a safety blanket. We ask people to go out and do a job, and we want to give them the tools to be safe and do the job.”


The Journal-Constitution cites several local residents who are quite concerned by this military buildup.

“What are we headed to?” Asked Candace Garrett Daly, a Cobb County resident. “Whatever it is seems to be already in motion at a breakneck speed. The police are preparing for an enemy. My question is, ‘Who is the enemy?’”

What do you think of the increasing militarization of law enforcement agencies? Let us know in the comments section of this post, on Twitter or on our Facebook page.

Did I forget anything or miss any errors? Would you like to make me aware of a story or subject to cover? Or perhaps you want to bring your writing to a wider audience? Feel free to contact me at admin@EndtheLie.com with your concerns, tips, questions, original writings, insults or just about anything that may strike your fancy.

Please support our work and help us start to pay contributors by doing your shopping through our Amazon link or check out some must-have products at our store.

This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM - 9 PM PT/10 PM - 12 AM ET. Show page link here: http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com


BE THE CHANGE! PLEASE SHARE THIS USING THE TOOLS BELOW


BE THE CHANGE! PLEASE SHARE THIS USING THE TOOLS BELOW


If you enjoy our work, please donate to keep our website going.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

We need to educate the police &sheriff's dept about Oath Keepers .They are our last defense against an out of control federal govt. Some states are passing laws against unconstitutional federal gun control mandates and NDAA. Maybe this will give them a leg to stand on. On the other hand they may just use it to march us off to the FEMA camps when the Fed declares martial law.

Anonymous said...

“Having the equipment precludes having to use it,” said Bloomingdale Police Chief Roy Pike when speaking about military grade equipment.

If I understand him correctly, military grade weapons in the hands of citizens would preclude citizens from having to use them, too don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Thats awsum Georgia, u must be proud.
What about ur 50,000 homeless children, ranking one of the worst states in the country, 41 out of 50 in child homelessness (2011)?

http://www.times-herald.com/close-up/More-than-45-500-children-homeless-in-Georgia---1990016

Anonymous said...

Ahh, but Georgia is a leader in unrestricted corpo lobbying of state pols/agencies. And just look at our housing foreclosure stats!!

It certainly clears the air for residents to know their standing even before "selected" candidates commence the orgasmic campaign spending binge! Guess Ole' Saxby knew when to slip off to a prospective CEO fiefdom. And unrestrained corp govt gives us more time to focus on our "right-to-work" part-time at Dollar General.

What's a few homeless kidz when some Walmarts donate their expired GMO foods to the food pantries?? Arrive early.

Also, we're provided with tons of cheap school clothes as GA has flourishing commercial climate/pandemic of Thrift Stores. No doubt what those militarized weapons are guarding!

Anonymous said...

Follow where the big arms are going, this is where the gov't foresees future problems when the dollar fails....

Gaylan said...

The old adage is ever true:

"Give a man a rope and he will eventually hang himself"

Just shows the level of intelligence floating around in "the people" and "their representatives". It is bordering stupid. Accepting "benefits" from the government is destroying the people. It was designed to do that.

The funniest thing I have ever witnessed - is the people are doing it to their own selves.

The government is a reflection of the people it represents. Otherwise there would be no support for that govern-ment. (registered votes)

You people evidently get your rights from some constitution you didn't sign.

Anonymous said...

Amerika is one giant rat trap ......

Post a Comment