Guns and Ammo: Orange County Law Enforcement Agencies Grab More Than $4.2 Million in Surplus Military Equipment

Thanks to a giveaway program, Orange County law enforcement agencies have received more than $4.2 million in military-grade equipment from the U.S. Department of Defense.

From chemical-biological masks, to chapel lecterns, police here have snapped up a booty of armor to help them protect and serve our fair county.

The Anaheim Police Department picked up an armored vehicle valued at more than $65,000. That was in 1997, during the dawn of the surplus giveaway program.

California Watch

, a project of the nonprofit

Center for Investigative Reporting

, has released a report on the Defense Department's giveaway program, which has seen more than 17,000 public law enforcement agencies throughout the nation haul in roughly $2.8 billion in surplus military equipment in the two decades since


created the program.

From California Watch:

California police accumulated more equipment during 2011 than any other year in the equipment-transfer program's two-decade history, according to a California Watch analysis of U.S. Department of Defense data. 

A total of 163,344 new and used items valued at $26.2 million - from bath mats acquired by the sheriff of Sonoma County to a full-tracked tank for rural San Joaquin County - were transferred last year to state and local agencies.

According to the report, the

Orange County Sheriff's Department

-- in a 2003 equipment transfer that would cause the "

American Pickers

" to squirt their pants -- landed a communication subsystem valued at more than $1 million. 


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