Local law enforcement benefit from surplus war equipment

Monday, July 7, 2014 - 10:20pm

They say one man's trash is another man’s treasure.

Well that's true when it comes to the United States military and local law enforcement.

Millions of dollars in used combat equipment is being given away -- to law enforcement agencies across the country, including the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office and the Las Cruces Police Department.

“We have access to just about anything you can think of,” said DASO spokesperson Kelly Jameson.

When the troops are done with their war gear, an inventory of the items is sent to law enforcement agencies.

“The theory is, as tax payers, you have already paid for these items once,” said Jameson. “There is no reason you should have to pay for it a second time.”

The Department of Defense Excess Inventory Program supplies everything from military trucks, rifles and shade netting, to something as small as hand sanitizer. Basically for free.

“It lightens things up on the other end of the budget, so we don't have to spend money on things like hand sanitizer or vehicles that will be used in training," said Jameson.

I agencies see gear they might need; they put in a request on a first come first serve basis. If it's available all the agency does is pay for the shipping and handling.

For DASO, once get what they request, the items are brought to their training facility where they are used for everything from target practice to basic training techniques.

LCPD recently received a high tech robot, designed to find explosive devices for American soldiers in combat.

“That robot will be able to go ahead of officers to be the eyes and ears,” said Dan Trujillo, spokesperson for the Las Cruces Police Department. “Especially when we might be in intense situations where maybe our SWAT team might be called out.”

Both LCPD and DASO said all their military surplus items would have set them back thousands.

Something local law enforcement say shows the value of recycling.

The program has been around since World War II and has shelled out $4.3 billionworth of supplies to law enforcement agencies in the decades since. 


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