Some Shit Other Than Guns And Tanks That Police Departments Get From The Pentagon


The New York times recently did an interactive piece on the militarization of the police, revealing what equipment police departments across the country receive from the Pentagon. I did a quick analysis of the raw files from the Times (which they kindly posted on GitHub) to see what items were most popular nationwide. The top 10 items police departments received, in total, are:

  • 146,866 cartridge magazines
  • 119,067 electrical wires
  • 61,548 rifles (these are 5.56 millimeter assault rifles)
  • 54,805 cold weather shirts
  • 43,828 socket head cap screws
  • 43,638 field packs
  • 36,787 reflex sights
  • 36,617 ammunition chests
  • 35,290 elastic bandage kits
  • 21,313 industrial goggles

And of course there are plenty of tanks, aircraft, and body armor in there as well, ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice in suburban wherever.

The Pentagon however, supplies much more than military-grade nightmare gear. According to the list they are also distributing the following items:

  • 31 armoires
  • 1 money counter
  • 6 french horns and 1 euphonium
  • 179 assorted lawn mowers
  • 271 assorted treadmills
  • 72 golf carts and 1 order of golf balls
  • 2 pizza ovens
  • 37 kitchen spatulas, 35 laboratory spatulas, and 3 dental spatulas
  • 71 dessert spoons, 82 tea spoons, and 12 picnic spoons
  • 30 shower curtain hooks
  • 1 pair of cotton underwear
  • 1252 laundry bags
  • 1 recumbent exercise bike
  • 39 scooters
  • 5809 wet weather poncho liners
  • 2 food carrying carts
  • 17 dish towels
  • 23 soccer balls
  • 3 fishing boats, 19 kayaks, and 7 canoes
  • 10 men’s pajama trousers
  • 4758 neckerchiefs
  • 1 santa’s uniform
  • 1 simulated suicide bomber vest
  • 4 black rain coats
  • 3 “slaving” accessories (I’m hoping this is a typo)
  • 1 bouncy castle w/ blower (what was the Pentagon doing with a bouncy castle in the first place?)

As the Times notes, “this data does not represent all of the military-style gear that law enforcement agencies have. Agencies also purchase equipment with their own money or with federal grants.” It’s a distinct possibility that there’s more than one police department with a bouncy castle out there, inhabited, I hope, by a santasuit-wearing cop holding an assault rifle in one hand and a dental spatula in the other.

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