Maryland law enforcement agencies receive military-grade equipment

Baltimore has spent $600k on military style tools

You likely saw  plenty of former military equipment put to use by police in Ferguson in the earliest footage released.

Turns out, many police departments around the country are handed military equipment the government no longer needs.

Departments here in Maryland are no exception.

It is called the 1033 Program by the Department of Defense.

It is basically the transfer of surplus military equipment from the DOD to local law enforcement.

It could be things like office equipment and washer/dryers, but it is also M16s, grenade launchers, helicopters and mine resistant vehicles.

After seeing the kind of equipment police were using in Ferguson, Missouri, the In Focus team requested a list of weaponry some Maryland Police Departments received from the military.

RELATED: Anne Arundel County learning from Ferguson

From Baltimore County to Anne Arundel and Somerset counties, many of our local police departments were assigned military style weapons like M16s and M14s...hundreds of them.

Some departments got armored cars and trucks. According to the data, Garrett County was even assigned a grenade launcher.

But, Baltimore City actually didn't receive much from the 1033 program. Most of its militarized equipment came from post 9/11 homeland security grant funding.

According to a public records request returned to us today, since fiscal year 2008, Baltimore has received and spent nearly $600,000 on military style equipment.

Most of that is for tactical operations like night vision goggles, body armor, explosive entry equipment and robots.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appeared on Meet the Press this past Sunday and discussed Baltimore's stockpile. She addressed it again yesterday after the board of estimates meeting.

"We have all types of equipment,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said. “I don't walk around with a personal inventory, because I am very careful about how those things are being used and the thought to use them on your own people in that sense never crossed my mind." 

Since 2008, the city has applied for and received $26 million in homeland security funding -- 25 percent of which must be spent on law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.

The mayor said such is the only way she would ever use such equipment.
 

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