Calif. agency receiving $23K in surplus military gear

They're receiving non-tactical equipment such as communications receivers and an overhead projector


The Record

STOCKTON — The Stockton Unified School District is among several public school police agencies in California that received surplus military equipment as part of the federal government's 1033 Excess Property Program.

The non-tactical equipment Stockton Unified received in a December requisition made under the former administration has an estimated worth of $23,588.80 and went to supply the district Police Department's current location, district spokeswoman Dianne Barth-Feist said.

Items included five TV monitors worth nearly $9,900; a $1,253.12 cardiopulmonary mask package; 10 field packs valued at 5485.90; a $500 exercise bike; three drug cases worth $2,402.58; a $350 podium, two communications receivers, $600; an overhead projector, $3,099; and another projector and teleconference system with no value, according to documents obtained through a recent Freedom of Information Act request by the open news website MuckRock. Stockton police received 72 M16 rifles at the same time.

The Pentagon has been giving surplus military equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies for more than a decade. The request found that not only are state and local police departments receiving military-grade equipment from the Department of Defense, several school police departments are as well. Los Angeles school police received 61 assault rifles, three grenade launchers and a mine-resistant, ambush-protected tactical vehicle valued at $733,000, the largest requisition in the state. Manteca police received a MRAP vehicle earlier this year.

The program has come under fire in the aftermath of the police response to the riots in Ferguson, Mo., after teenager Michael Brown was shot to death. Two House lawmakers introduced legislation in September aimed at demilitarizing the nation's local police departments. Reps. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., and Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, said the Pentagon's 1033 program goes too far to put the tools of war onto America's streets. Republican Tom McClintock, whose 4th Congressional District includes Calaveras County, is one of 17 co-sponsors of the bill.

Copyright 2014 The Record

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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