What can you do with a 100,000 dollar helicopter missing a wing? Or, a Humvee with no engine block? How about 100 Reagan-era bayonets? Apparently, you can use them in a small town police force, even if the only dangerous criminal in town is a seasonal visitor. That’s the beauty of the US Department of Defense downsizing program, an operation that gives millions of dollars of equipment to police departments all across the USA.
Unfortunately, according to recent press investigations, there are very few inspections or audits of police departments getting the materials. Some states have inspectors/auditors in place, however, whole states have had no individual to track these giveaways.
As one who has done farm and forestry inspections to check for adherence to a state government program’s specifications, it is amazing to me that we physically inspected properties to determine the details of farm use per acre while this giveaway program has no reliable record of inspections, nor a posse of inspectors to verify that Sheriff Sam isn’t getting nuclear warheads, hundreds of refrigerators, or thousands of boxes of government-issued gym shorts.
I’m not saying I should be the one inspecting these police departments. That should be someone the government hires who understands the regulations and who has a working knowledge of what police departments actually need. It would also help departments receive valuable materials to fight crime rather than receive more oscillating fans than a WalMart in Texas.
Or, the US government could ship all non-weapons materials to towns and cities where the government could do what everyone else (in the non-coastal areas) does- have a giant yard sale.
What do you think?