Alabama Cut Off From Military Equipment

The recent events in the town of Ferguson, Missouri have brought attention to something that has been happening for some time. All around the nation, police departments are and have been taking advantage of Department of Defense grants to purchase military equipment that is surplus for their own uses.

Agencies in Alabama have received over one hundred and fifteen million dollars in equipment from 2006 to present. That amount ranks them second nationwide. Items received by agencies in Alabama include 11 MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles, eighteen helicopters, a cargo plane, and 9 grenade launchers.

Earlier in the year, the agency that manages the program that provides this military-grade equipment to law enforcement suspended the participation of Alabama in the program due to improper keeping of records. Specifically, the DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) claimed Alabama agencies had not properly registered received equipment, had not abided procedures dealing with the policy manual for the program, and did not document adequately the assignation of equipment to individual officers.

Officials in Alabama have been working hard to get these discrepancies attended to and assert that there have been no instances of misplaced or misused equipment. They further purport that in many cases, received equipment has not even been used in any function as of yet and are being held only for incidents when they might be required.