Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More than $600 million in Homeland Security grants to NC since 9/11

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Center_for_Investigative_Reporting.jpg

The Center for Investigative Reporting shines a light on the United States' domestic military might in a new exposé, "Local police stockpile high-tech, combat-ready gear."

Thanks to the report's interactive map, we learn that North Carolina received $657,983,526 in Homeland Security grants between 2002-2011, or $68.82 per capita. And it doesn't look like the $50 million Congress awarded Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention's security is included in those numbers.

Here's a snippet from the report:

More than ever before, police rely on quasi-military tactics and equipment, the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

No one can say exactly what has been purchased in total across the country or how it’s being used, because the federal government doesn’t keep close track. State and local governments don’t maintain uniform records. But a review of records from 41 states obtained through open-government requests, and interviews with more than two-dozen current and former police officials and terrorism experts, shows police departments around the U.S. have transformed into small army-like forces.

...

Many police, including beat cops, now routinely carry assault rifles. Combined with body armor and other apparel, many officers look more and more like combat troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The list of equipment bought with the federal grants reads like a defense contractor catalog. High-tech gear fills the garages, locker rooms and patrol cars in departments across the country.

Although local officials say they have become more cautious about spending in recent years, police departments around the country are continually expanding the equipment and tactics of their jobs, despite, in many cases, the lack of an apparent need.

Visit AmericasWarWithin.org for more information.

NCs Homeland Security grant summary, 2002-2011

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