NY Times Maps Spread of Military Surplus in U.S. Counties
With the debate raging on about the police activity in Ferguson Missouri, the New York Times has recently posted an interactive map of the United States, showing how much military surplus gear each county in the nation has.
The accompanying text also explains how these counties were able to attain military gear including armored vehicles, grenade launchers, and assault rifles. A free Defense Department program in the 1990s was created where state and local police departments were able to obtain military-style equipment. However, most of the equipment is paid for by local departments or through federal grants.
The New York Times compiled information from detailed data released by the Pentagon to show just how ubiquitous the equipment has become. The map can be filtered by which counties are in possession of different types of equipment, including weapons such as grenade launchers and assault rifles, or transports such as armored vehicles and aircrafts.
See the interactive map here to see what military equipment your county has access to.