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.
, a project of the nonprofitCenter 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 sinceCongress
created the program.
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, theOrange 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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