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The 12 Days of Police Militarization: What did they Really Get?

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The Pentagon's hand-me-down program, which places old military hardware into the eager hands of police departments across the country, runs the gamut from frightening to bizarre. The so-called 1033 program's complete list (available for download below) reads like a Steven Seagal version of the 12 days of Christmas, and so without so much as two turtle doves... SoTP brings you the 12 days of police militarization.


1 Practice Antipersonnel Mine


Stark County, Ohio caught my eye with a practice antipersonnel mine. I was glad to see that it wasn't a real anti-personnel mine. Though, if they ever did get real ones, we could rest assured that they had plenty of practice.


205 Grenade Launchers


For special occasions.


344 MRAPs


Scattered across the country in nearly every state (Delaware notably absent), these soldier-taxis-gone-bad have become emblematic of the 1033 program. Remarkably, St. Lucie county is home to no fewer than five of these Tonka-Tanks, more than legitimately scary places like Miami-Dade, or East Baton Rouge.


403 Helicopters


This whole list inadvertently became scenes from Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.


50 Nuclear Ordnance Boxes


Lee County, Georgia needed something to put their nukes in.


6 Drum sets


Including a Ludwig...John Bonham would be proud. One might ask why the military needed them, and then ask again, why do the police need them?


79000 5.56mm Rifles


Your neighborhood operator might call this a "black rifle", or if he were feeling especially randy, "the black rifle", as the M-16 is occasionally referred to (usually by forum ninjas). Not much to say, except that it is an awful lot of rifles.


8 Mechanical Fingers


Don't know what they are, but Saint Clair, Michigan's got 'em.


91000 feet of Electrical Wire.


Ventura County, California must have some big plans, because they've got 16 miles of electrical wire, courtesy of the US taxpayer.


1000 pounds of nails


Providence, Rhode Island is the proud owner of one thousand pounds of military surplus nails. Unfortunately, they did not get a nail gun to go with it, like Terrell County, Georgia (who didn't get any nails).


11900 Bayonets


Of which, for some reason, El Paso County, Texas needed 1987.


12 Cargo Parachutes


You forgot about that movie? Walton County, Georgia didn't.


And, should you wish to peruse the staggering list for gems like these, it is available for download here.

Richard is an engineer by day, and a political activist by night, fighting would-be totalitarians and government busybodies everywhere.