Graphic: The Scope and Scale of Police Militarization

1033 program

Though police militarization involves many things (most notably a change in attitude and strategy), the visible signs of it — camouflage “battle dress uniforms”, armored vehicles, machine guns, and helicopters — are the direct result of a Pentagon program to funnel unused military equipment to local police. And since the wars in the Middle East have wound down, there is a lot of it.

I’ve compiled some graphics and data from NPR, NBC, and the New York Times about the program.

*Note that the figures may conflict in some places — NPR says that cops received 79,288 assault rifles; NYT says 93,763 “machine guns”, apparently including assault rifles with other weaponry. NPR says 422 helicopters and 50 airplanes; NYT says 533 “aircraft” total.

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Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier is the executive editor of The Skeptical Libertarian.

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