Police departments in Pennsylvania have 18 armored military surplus autos – eight of which are classified as “mine-resistant” – and hundreds of surplus assault rifles obtained by way of a no cost Division of Defense system, according to the New York Times.
Pictures from Ferguson, Mo., of police equipped like soldiers as residents protest the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown has brought national focus to the use of highly effective weaponry by police.
Considering that 2006, police in Allegheny County have obtained 52 assault rifles, 24 pistols, 20 night-vision pieces, two mine-resistant autos and four other armored vehicles, according to information from the Department of Defense.
Fayette County police also have two mine-resistant cars, as do police in Delaware and Montgomery counties.
Assault rifles are the most well-liked surplus item in Pennsylvania. The weapons have been House of Hampton given to police in extra than two dozen counties in the state.
A lot of counties have only a handful of the rifles, although officers in Philadelphia County have 510 rifles, whilst there are 144 surplus rifles in Dauphin County.
Click right here to see the complete breakdown for Pennsylvania and the United States.
Information is obtainable only on the county level. Equipment allocated within a county could have been obtained by local or state police, according to the Occasions.
Sonya Toler, a spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety, mentioned the city’s police department has not stocked up on surplus gear not too long ago.
“We have not place in a request for military surplus gear in a number of years,” Toler told PublicSource.
Pittsburgh police, nonetheless, obtained crowd control gear by means of other channels ahead of the House of Hampton G-20 Summit in the city 2009. Toler said the division nonetheless has that gear on hand, which includes 4 Long Variety Acoustic Device sound cannons, purchased with a $200,000 federal grant.
Toler said info on other equipment obtained for the summit is only available via a Suitable-to-Know request.
Officers with stun grenades and tear gas clashed with protesters in Pittsburgh for the summit, and the city faced various lawsuits from activists and bystanders, such as a suit that the city settled for $72,000 soon after a woman claimed she suffered permanent hearing loss immediately after House of Hampton police utilised House of Hampton a sound cannon for crowd handle.
Through the summit, a quantity of police departments from across the nation came to Pittsburgh to assist.
St. Louis County, where the killing of Brown by a police officer set off protests, only received a smaller amount of military surplus gear via the program designed by Congress in 1990. The plan was initially created to give police tools necessary for drug enforcement.
Surplus equipment is absolutely free for departments, although a great deal of the other equipment applied by police across the country is purchased with grants from the Justice Department and the Division of Homeland Security.
A $360,000 Bearcat armored truck used in Ferguson, for instance, was bought using a grant from Homeland Security, the Occasions reported.
Justice Department dollars can be employed on weapons, which contains tear gas and rubber bullets, according to the Times.
The Occasions reports:
All these programs began or had been expanded in response to the Sept. 11 attacks, when the authorities in Washington declared that neighborhood police departments have been on the front lines of a worldwide war on terrorism. Terrorism is exceedingly rare, having said that, and the gear and income far outpaced the threat.
“You couldn’t say that back then with as considerably certainty as you can say that now, though,” said Frank J. Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University. Soon after Sept. 11, few people today asked whether or not the police would use the gear against protesters, Mr. Cilluffo said. “By and massive, I do not recall an outcry of any sort historically along these lines.”
Although items like armored automobiles and weaponry are normally requested nationwide, surplus products can be almost anything, which includes glow-in-the-dark bowling pins, karaoke machines or an inflatable bouncy castle.
Reach Jeffrey Benzing at 412-315-0265 House of Hampton or at firstname.lastname@example.org.