A Look At The Militarization of North Carolina Police Agencies - myfoxcarolinas.com

A Look At The Militarization of North Carolina Police Agencies

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If the scenes of Ferguson remind you of Iraq, there's a reason for that. Assault rifles, grenade launchers and armored vehicles have migrated from the battlefield to local police departments.

Some of them can be found in North and South Carolina.

They are here because of the Pentagon's 1033 Program. The 1033 Program was created in 1997 and allows the military to provide and transfer equipment and gear they are no longer using to local law enforcement agencies.

According to a Freedom of Information Act request by the New York Times and MuckRock, more than 15,000 pieces of military equipment have been provided to police agencies in North Carolina

Across the state, 325 agencies participate in the 1033 Program. The following items have been provided to agencies in these counties since 2006:

Mecklenburg County: 76 assault rifles, 6 shotguns

Gaston County: 230 assault rifles, 54 pistols, 10 grenade launchers, 6 shotguns, 2 armored vehicles

Cleveland County: 54 assault rifles, 6 grenade launchers

Cabarrus County: 74 assault rifles, 4 armored vehicles

Rowan County: 94 assault rifles, 28 pistols, 12 grenade launchers.

The ACLU of North Carolina is calling for an end to the 1033 Program.

“We've seen slowly local police departments acquire more and more military equipment,” Mike Meno, communications director for ACLU-NC, said. “This had led to tragedies across the nation.”

The Pentagon has defended the program saying it protects the homeland and since the federal government has already purchased the items, might as well put them to use.

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