We all know state cops have some pretty bad-ass cop equipment: tasers, humvees, even helicopters and planes, not to mention all those guns. What most of us probably didn’t know is that a lot of that equipment comes from the Pentagon. The Pentagon gives out $500 million worth of the stuff each year based on a few conditions. As you might imagine, one of those conditions is that all the equipment be used for actual crime-fighting cop stuff and not for, say, selling to random people who might be in the market for an armored Humvee.
But lately the Pentagon has been growing peeved over sub-par accounting for this stuff. Incredibly, most states are still converting from paper filing systems to electronic ones, and the inventories they owe the Pentagon are grossly underreported, and someone at the Department of Defense recently realized the don’t actually know where much of the $500 million of deadly weapons they gave away last year ended up.
According NY Daily News, recent reports from Arizona that the Pinal County Sherrif’s office “has stockpiled millions of dollars’ worth of equipment through the program, distributing some of the gear to non-police agencies, and intended to sell other property” raised red flags at the Pentagon, prompting them to cut off state cops until they can accurately account for the weapons.
Pretty shocking right? It’d be shocking if this were happening in one state. But guess how many states got cut off. …Ready? 49. Yep, every one except New Hampshire.
A rep for the Pentagon said “We’re not doing this based on any thought there’s a problem. We’re doing it because accountability is accountability.” But I think most of us know you don’t stop a twenty year-old half-billion dollar a year program dead in its tracks unless there’s a problem.