Police officers have guns. That’s an obvious fact. They often carry other weapons such as nightsticks, too. And police officers are trained to use these weapons for the purpose of stopping criminals.
But at what point are police forces too heavily armed? Are handguns enough? How about SWAT teams with rifles? We can have that discussion. What gets unclear, though, is why, exactly, a police force (especially a small police force) needs military equipment.
Case in point is a small town in Delaware called Dewey. This is a police force which only has eleven members (three of which are part-time) but has amassed over $3 million of military equipment within the last five years. Matt Agorist writes,
Earlier this month, the Milford Beacon published the results of a Freedom of Information Act request to the federal Defense Logistics Agency showing the scope of their weapons and equipment cache.
Some of the equipment can be located and some of it has been accounted for. However, what is public is only a fraction of their total arsenal.
As the Beacon reports, among hundreds of line items turned over between March 2013 and December 2017, the police acquired a total of 12 ATVs, 51 jackets or parkas and 13 space heaters, and 19 trucks of all kinds.
Nineteen trucks were received through the LESO program between March 2013 and December 2017. The department asked for many more than that.
Included in this cache of military vehicles—to police a town of 400 citizens—is an armored Humvee and another mine-resistant armored vehicle. There are more vehicles than their police officers can drive and the department apparently sees nothing wrong with this, nor do they want you to know about it.
Now, can anyone realistically tell me why an eleven member police force needs nineteen trucks? They even have more ATVs than they do officers. What are they going to do with them, and who are going to be the additional people using them?
If this isn’t cause for alarm for people, I don’t know what will wake them up. If our law enforcement is equipped the same as our military, then it’s safe to assume that their intent is to become one and the same. There is a term for that: martial law.
This kind of over-armament of a police force is a dangerous thing, and it’s difficult to imagine that anything good can come out of it. You should investigate your local law enforcement, too, because you could be next.