The U.S. Department of Defense, ever concerned that local police departments might lack needed equipment for their efforts combating crime, sent the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department an early Christmas present last March: 500 snowshoes and 132 snow trousers. That wasn’t all; the Department also reaped 1,600 parkas for camouflage and 2,800 ready-to-eat meals.
Enforcement agencies in California have received $160 million in equipment, most of it since 2006, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles school police had obtained three grenade launchers, but returned them. They kept the rifles and a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, unlike city officials in Davis, Calif., who returned their MRAP in August.
The information divulged regarding DOD hand-outs was prompted by Freedom of Information Act requests.
Other gifts were:
- A $4.4-million, 85-foot fast patrol craft for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department in 2005;
- A grenade launcher for the Alpine County Sheriff’s Department;
- 1,678 high-powered military rifles for the Los Angeles Police Department;
- 86 M14 rifles for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Two grenade launchers for the Clovis police, near Fresno
- A grenade launcher for the East Bay Regional Park District
- Eight grenade launchers for the Sacramento police
- MRAPs for the sheriff’s departments in the following counties: Amador, Butte, Los Angeles, Kern, Merced, Nevada, Orange, Santa Barbara and Merced and police agencies in over 30 cities
- Medical supplies and high-powered military rifles for District attorney’s investigators in Merced, Humboldt, Calaveras, Riverside and Los Angeles counties.
- Night vision equipment for state prisons in Avenal and Corcoran.
California enforcement agencies are apparently less musical than the New Lothrop, Michigan, police department. That department received six French horns, 3 saxophones, two snare drums, a bass drum, an electric guitar, and a bass guitar.