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See what military equipment your local law enforcement agency got

December 11, 2014

 

Back in August, I wrote a piece called Ingham, Eaton, Clinton counties get lots of free military stuff. It was about the Department of Defense' 1033 program, which since 1990 has supplied police with $5.1 billion in used military equipment. My source was a Detroit Free Press story that provided lists by county. Now something called The Marshall Project (scroll down nearly to the bottom of this page) has the data by agency. A friend has given me an Excel spreadsheet into which he has copied all the data for Michigan (nearly 3000 records; it is sorted by agency name). With that spreadsheet, you can easily get the list for, say, the East Lansing Police Department:

Item Quantity Unit Value Total Value
DETECTING AND TRACING SET,METAL 3 $13,309.00 $39,927.00
WELDING MACHINE,ARC 1 $6,476.00 $6,476.00
COMPUTER SYSTEM,DIGITAL 5 $6,474.40 $32,372.00
PERSONNEL IDENTIFICATION BAND KIT 2 $2,310.55 $4,621.10
TOOL KIT,SMALL ARMS 2 $2,147.00 $4,294.00
TENT 1 $1,319.06 $1,319.06
CASE,TOOL BOX 2 $1,127.29 $2,254.58
HEADSET-MICROPHONE 6 $795.48 $4,772.88
FIELD PACK 101 $780.47 $78,827.47
SIGN MAKING KIT,PORTABLE 4 $749.00 $2,996.00
KIT,SOLDERING-DESOLDERING 1 $701.00 $701.00
TOOL KIT,ELECTRONIC SYSTEM 2 $638.00 $1,276.00
TOOL KIT,ELECTRONIC 3 $553.00 $1,659.00
BOX,ACCESSORIES STOWAGE 4 $516.00 $2,064.00
RIFLE,5.56 MILLIMETER 7 $499.00 $3,493.00
HARNESS,SURVIVAL VEST 5 $431.00 $2,155.00
MULTIMETER 5 $408.32 $2,041.59
PEN,RECORDING 5 $391.00 $1,955.00
FIRST AID KIT,INDIVIDUAL 19 $370.11 $7,032.09
TENT,COMBAT,TWO MAN 2 $366.12 $732.24
CASE,OPTICAL INSTRUMENT 36 $349.56 $12,584.00
CASE,FIELD HANDLING 15 $346.00 $5,190.00
SIGHT,REFLEX 24 $340.00 $8,160.00
RIFLEMAN SET 4 $336.33 $1,345.32
DRAWER,MARINE 5 $287.00 $1,435.00
FIELD PACK,LARGE,SET 4 $263.25 $1,053.00
MODULAR SLEEP SYSTEM 6 $263.05 $1,578.30
PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES 1 $211.95 $211.95
INSERT,TRAUMA KIT 30 $208.78 $6,263.40
COVERALLS,COMBAT VEHICLE CREWMEN'S 54 $203.17 $10,971.44
JACK,HYDRAULIC,HAND 1 $198.46 $198.46
LOCKER,CLOTHING 8 $178.67 $1,429.36
BIVY COVER 30 $175.35 $5,260.50
HOLSTER,PISTOL 46 $128.19 $5,896.54
RETAINER,GUN COMPONENT 60 $125.23 $7,513.80
BOOTS,COLD WEATHER 3 $120.08 $360.24
PARKA,EXTREME COLD WEATHER 1 $116.65 $116.65
BAYONET-KNIFE 26 $103.42 $2,688.88
HANDLE,SOCKET WRENCH 2 $99.24 $198.48
SPANNER ATTACHMENT,SOCKET WRENCH 1 $95.22 $95.22
FIRST AID KIT,UNIVERSAL 133 $90.82 $12,079.06
CLEANING KIT,GUN 95 $90.44 $8,591.55
SLEEPING BAG 20 $89.85 $1,797.08
INDICATOR,LINE VOLTAGE 4 $81.85 $327.40
BOOTS, MEN'S, PAIR 3 $66.25 $198.75
CARRIER,SMALL ARMS PROTECTIVE BODY ARMOR 10 $60.63 $606.30
HARD DRIVE, INTERNAL 10 $49.00 $490.00
MAT,SLEEPING,SELF-INFLATING 36 $45.31 $1,631.16
CARRIER,FIGHTING LOAD 2 $38.17 $76.34
LINER,WET WEATHER PONCHO 75 $37.30 $2,797.75
ADPE SYSTEM CONFIGURATION 5 $35.00 $175.00
COAT,SHOOTER'S 40 $33.55 $1,342.00
CARRIER,SLEEP SYSTEM 6 $32.45 $194.70
CASE,ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT 23 $29.82 $685.86
BAG,TOOL 10 $29.43 $294.30
CARRIER,PISTOL HOLSTER 1 $26.36 $26.36
BELT,MOLDED WAIST 2 $20.18 $40.36
SLING,SMALL ARMS 75 $20.05 $1,503.80
ADHESIVE TAPE,SURGICAL 2 $20.02 $40.04
STRAP,WEBBING 50 $18.54 $927.20
SHEATH,COMBAT KNIFE 20 $12.95 $259.00
GLOVES, SAFETY 25 $11.95 $298.75
CASE,MEDICAL INSTRUMENT AND SUPPLY SET 70 $11.59 $811.30
ELBOW PADS,EXTERNAL LARGE 15 $11.36 $170.40
HOOD,COLD WEATHER 4 $9.34 $37.36
UNDERSHIRT,COLD WEATHER 40 $9.33 $373.20
FLASHLIGHT 40 $8.92 $356.80
MAT,SLEEPING 57 $8.92 $508.44
APRON,CONSTRUCTION WORKER'S 4 $8.57 $34.28
CASE,SMALL ARMS AMMUNITION 15 $7.89 $118.35
MITTEN INSERTS,COLD WEATHER 10 $4.86 $48.60
COVER,WATER CANTEEN 75 $3.10 $232.50
MAGNIFIER 5 $2.74 $13.70
MIRROR,CONVEX 8 $1.31 $10.44
GRIP,PISTOL 2 $0.75 $1.50

 

You can compare that list with the one the East Lansing Police Department provides on its website.

 

In recent Senate hearings on the 1033 program, Senator Rand Paul "insisted on knowing why nearly 12,000 bayonets had been given to local law enforcement, but came up empty." (source) East Lansing got 26 of them (highlighted above) and on East Lansing's list, it says they are "issued to Use of Force trainers."

 

Ingham County got a total of 141 bayonet-knives according to the county database, but according to the agency database, the Ingham County Sheriff didn't get any of them and either did Lansing or Lansing Township. So where did they go?

 

Bath Township in Clinton County got 24 of them and the Eaton County Sheriff got 10.

 

I asked the East Lansing Police Department about Use of Force trainers. Here is Lieutenant Steve Gonzalez' December 11 reply:

Our Use of Force staff consists of sworn personnel that, in addition to their primary duties, serve as departmental Use of Force Instructors. As instructors they are responsible for providing training to our officers in every aspect of police use of force. This runs the spectrum of officer presence and direction to the use of lethal force. To accomplish this the staff conducts multiple training days throughout the year that includes, but is not limited to, defensive tactics, less lethal force, and firearms usage. In addition to the practical training the staff delivers training to our officers that covers both the policy and legal aspects related to the use of force. Lastly, they conduct annual assessments/qualifications to ensure that our officers are proficient in these matters.

 

With respect to the knives that are issued to the instructors, they are primarily used as a tool. The Use of Force staff also has the responsibility to care and maintain for the officer's issued weapons and equipment related to the use of force. The instructors have found it useful to have the knife available when they do not have access to more traditional tools when a piece of equipment malfunctions or breaks.

From Wikipedia:

The knife bayonets are basically fighting knives or utility knives with a lug and/or muzzle ring to attach to the barrel of a firearm such as an assault rifle or submachine gun. Almost all bayonets today are knife bayonets that are designed for use in hand-to-hand fighting and as utility knives. Some have serrated (saw-blade) back edges for utility and be usable as wire cutters (when used in conjunction with fittings on the sheath).

When I hear the word bayonet, I picture a spear attached to the end of a rifle barrel, something like this:

Today's bayonet-knives, however, are more like a Bowie knife that is capable of being attached to a rifle barrel, like this:

 

 

This makes it a much more versatile "tool," and all the more disturbing to know that it is being carried by your local cop.

 

Send comments to stevenrharry@gmail.com.

 

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