As the wars started by the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan begin to wind down, many U.S military weapons, uniforms, trucks and armored vehicles are being resold or given to law enforcement agencies across America.
“It saves a substantial amount of money,” Steve Harless, deputy commissioner of the Indiana Department of Administration, told Fox 59. “Last year alone we saved approximately $14 million and this year we’re on pace to save a little over $13 million.”
Indiana sheriffs and police chiefs claim they need the military weaponry to protect the public from former U.S. military vets who are heavily armed.
“When I first started we really didn’t have the violence that we see today,” said Sgt. Dan Downing of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department. “The weaponry is totally different now that it was in the beginning of my career, plus, you have a lot of people who are coming out of the military that have the ability and knowledge to build IEDs and to defeat law enforcement techniques.”
The Morgan County SWAT Team got a free $650,000 Mine Resistant Vehicle (MRAP) from the U.S. military, which will be used in hostage situations.
“If we go to a bank robbery, let’s say, and we’re armed with our sidearm, we’re going to be outgunned,” added Franklin, Ind., Police Chief Tim O’Sullivan, who got several M-16 rifles from a Pentagon surplus program. “And so we’re trying to be proactive and not try to be scary but we need to be as well-equipped as the bad guys sometimes, so… if they’re going to be having an assault rifle, we better have an assault rifle.”
In addition to all of this military weaponry, the Indiana National Guard recently purchased "two UH-72 Lakota helicopters ill also aid local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in case of an emergency," reports the Indiana Daily Student.
Airbus Group Vice President Ted Mickevicius said in a press release: “These air crafts will provide Indiana with increased capabilities, including search and rescue, disaster response and support to local law enforcement. The Indiana National Guard will be better prepared than ever to answer the call to respond to emergencies in local communities and the state.”