Earlier this week we published a link to an online database where you can look to see what kind of military equipment your local county is stockpiling. Several other publications have linked to this database as well. I heard from a couple of people that it might not be a 100% comprehensive list, but others are discovering that, whether it is comprehensive or not, there is a lot to be learned from looking in that database.
Imagine looking and finding out that your county police bought 8 Apache Helicopters and had done so over three years ago. That is exactly the experience from one person who searched the database for purchases in Brevard County, Florida.
$144 Million dollars worth of Apache helicopters and all within a span of about 45 days.
The militarization of police in the US reaches new levels. Police in Brevard, Florida, USA have bought eight AH-64D…
I find this information particularly interesting because, if you remember, back in April there was a major controversy over our government wanting to confiscate all 192 Apaches that were held by National Guard units around the country. To add insult to injury, the Obama Administration was promising 10 new Apaches to Egypt at the same time. Here’s an excerpt from Tim Brown’s report in April:
Delivery of the choppers is intended to aid in counterterrorism operations, the Pentagon said in a statement Wednesday, but comes only months after the US first suspended military aid to Egypt after the country’s interim government began harshly cracking down on dissidents and protesters.
“We believe these new helicopters will help the Egyptian government counter extremists who threaten US, Egyptian and Israeli security,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said.
Taking Egypt out of the equation, there is still a question that needs to be answered.
It’s a fair question and this trend has been in play for quite some time. Below is a video of an Apache in action.
Why would Brevard need 8 of these?
Or for that matter, why would they even need one?
I should note that I have not been able to verify the claim that those purchases were Apache helicopters. However, there are only so many 18 million dollar helicopters. I have no reason to doubt the story as it was presented.
If you would like to check out what kind of equipment your county police departments have been purchasing, there is a link to the database in this article.
***Author’s Update 6:00 PM: After publishing this article I found some time to do some more comparison shopping and there is no way that I can verify that these are in fact Apache Helicopters. New Apaches cost upwards of $50 Million. In 2011 that number would have been somewhat less and they could have been used equipment so it is still very possible. I found some old numbers earlier in the neighborhood of 15 million but new 2013/2014 prices are nowhere near that low. Let’s just take this information on the premise of this county spending 144 million dollars on eight helicopters. Whether they are Apaches or something somewhat less lethal, it is still quite the expenditure for a single county in the span of less than two months. There are some military grade helicopters that can be had new for $18 million even in 2014. So even if they are something different, they are likely something very unorthodox for police to be flying on the taxpayer’s dime. Chances are VERY GOOD that these are military grade helicopters. ***End of Update***
h/t Mort Amsel of BIN