Back in November before the election, I attended a meeting of the Morehead-Beaufort NC Tea Party in order to hear the scheduled remarks of Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck. In the Q-&-A session afterwards, as someone who has become increasingly concerned about the militarization of law enforcement in America, I asked Sheriff Buck to what degree his agency had become militarized, i.e., how much military style equipment had been acquired by the Sheriff’s Department during his tenure. I was pleased to hear the Sheriff say that, beyond the standard firearms, bulletproof vests, and other essential equipment needed to protect the safety of his officers, he saw no reason to pursue any military-type equipment made available by the federal government.
Although my estimation of Sheriff Buck’s judgment went up a notch that evening, the same cannot be said for some of the other law enforcement agencies along the Crystal Coast. After years of public clamor by folks who are as apprehensive as I about the aforementioned militarization, the Department of Defense has finally made public a detailed list of the military equipment given to law enforcement agencies all over America through the 1033 Program. Below is a graphic depicting the goodies handed over to policing agencies along the Crystal Coast:
Because of President Obama’s reaction to the events in Ferguson, Missouri and other similar events recently, I expect that he will soon direct the Pentagon to refuse equipment to law enforcement agencies that cannot show that their policing personnel are not racially representative in comparison to the surrounding community. Congress has also become somewhat interested in the issue of police militarization.
To peruse the entire list, organized alphabetically by municipality within states, click HERE, and be prepared to wait awhile after you make your selection from the two state groupings. And, if you are a Crystal Coast reader residing in one of the localities in the list above, you might want to ask why they need the firepower.