Mine-resistant, ambush-protected military vehicles: not your ordinary community police cars, but equipment several small towns in Ohio now own, thanks to the Unites States military.
Local police departments for the past 20 years have been obtaining military equipment under a Pentagon surplus give-away program called 1033. Ohio cities such as Brimfield, Canton, Brunswick and Barberton are among the 600 municipalities across the country that have acquired so-called MRAP’s , designed to detect improved explosive devises, valued at around $733,000 each, from the U.S. Department of Defense. That’s according to the Marshall Project, a non-profit news organization that has compiled a data base of 1033 recipients from the DOD’s quiet release of the information last month.
Ohio cities, county sheriff’s department, campus police departments and local offices of the FBI have received more than $73 million under the 1033 Program. While many cash-strapped cities no doubt welcomed the extra equipment, the use of military equipment – tanks, assault rifles, night-vision goggles, personnel carriers – for local policing has been called into question during the recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere across the country.
In Ohio, the “gifts” from the Pentagon have ranged from the mundane – generators, computers, cameras and battery chargers – to the whimsical – a French horn and a tenor trombone for the city of North Kingsville – to the full-out, battle-ready military. To see what your town has received under the 1033 program and the value of the equipment, click on the following and type “Ohio” in the black box.