13,000 Military War Vehicles Up for Grabs – How Many Will Go to Local Police Forces?

Bloomberg published a flashy video pitching that 13,000 Mine Resistant Armor Protected vehicles will go to law enforcement agencies across the United States, but the numbers are a little off.

Bloomberg’s video explains local law enforcement will receive MRAPs from the DoD (Image via Bloomberg).
Yes, but not all the vehicles are headed to local law enforcement agencies (Bloomberg).

“To date, 200 requests for law enforcement support have been filled, and 800 are pending,” a Department of Defense spokesman told TheBlaze.

So only several hundred military war vehicles are actually slated for transfer to law enforcement agencies.

“We have 24,000 currently in the inventory; the services altogether took a hard look resetting the force and we want to get back to more conventional warfighting instead of counterinsurgency and (they) said ok, we need to maintain some MRAPs in the future but we’re only taking certain models that will be most useful,” the DoD said.

The Army’s Medium All-Terrain Vehicle is one of the MRAP versions the department says it want’s to maintain for potential future needs. But the other, older versions will be divested to multiple agencies, including local law enforcement.

Within the United States, any federal or state law enforcement agency whose officers have arrest and apprehension authority can request and potentially receive excess DoD personal property through the 1033 program.

To date, 200 requests for law enforcement support have been filled, and 800 are pending. Thousands of the vehicles will not go to local police units, but will be sent to allied forces who can put the huge war machines to use.

Salinas, California, SWAT team posing with their MRAP courtesy of the 1033 program (Bloomberg).

“We have requests from 20-odd countries that are interested in getting a hold of our excess MRAPs; normally we don’t charge for that since they are used in excess, we give them away to our partner nations that can make good use of them,” the DoD spokesman said.

Agencies who request assets through the Defense Logistic Agency’s Law Enforcement Support Office staff first must clear the justification with their individual state coordinators, and each state has a separate memorandum of agreement with each state coordinator spells out the rules for the participation and “outlines reporting requirements and compliance visits that are used to ensure compliance.

According to the LESO office, 49 states and 3 U.S. territories are participating states – Hawaii is only holdout. The staff also works with federal agencies such as the FBI, ATF, ICE and the Border Patrol to transfer the assets, which technically remain under federal control, but the costs for maintenance revert to the new users.

Watch the Bloomberg clip here, and give us your opinion – on the program and the coverage:

(H/T: Investment Watch)

Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter.