Florida Center for Investigative Reporting released a fairly jarring report
of just how the militarization of local police departments (and other local agencies) has been accelerating in the wake of, well, a decrease in wartime boom-times for green articles of metal and death. The usual suspects are there to some degree – of course the narcotics folks need missiles to shoot down grow houses, because marijuana is scary – but why exactly does the Florida Highway Patrol need $3 million in excess articles of mass destruction? Also, of course, no starving state or municipal agency is going to turn down donations, even if said donations are armored trucks and mine-resistant vehicles. It's all part of the draw-down program known as the U.S. Department of Defense's 1033 program, and it's also our least favorite new version of recycling. Green Works, indeed. The Orange County Sheriff's Department has received more than $500k in hand-me-downs-of-terror (helicopters, rifles, handguns), while the Orlando Police Department has received a lot of "sights" (to shoot you better, my dear) and some artillery from the 1033 program. We've written a bit about this military-comes-home phenomenon before, here
, but this is the most comprehensive list we've seen. Nearly $300 million in police militarization funds and their requisite machines have hit the state. Hey, at least our agencies aren't in the top 20! Friday morning bright side!!!!