FEDS SPENDING MILLIONS TO ARM AGENCIES
EPA, VA among those nabbing heavy armaments
By Kellan Howell – The Washington Times – Thursday, January 7, 2016
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:
Some agencies like the EPA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management have come under fire in recent years for conducting raid-like operations with heavily armed agents. In 2013 armed EPA officers raided the town of Chicken, Alaska. The agency said the raid was conducted to look for possible violations of the Clean Water Act.
As the U.S. engages in a national debate over the militarization of the police, federal data shows that government agencies charged with largely administrative roles are spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to purchase SWAT and military-style equipment.
Since FY 2006, 44 traditionally administrative agencies have spent over $71 million on items like body armor, riot helmets and shields, cannon launchers and police firearms and ammunition, according to federal spending data from watchdog group OpenTheBooks.com.
This comes in addition to the $330 million spent on such equipment in that period by traditional law enforcement agencies like the FBI, Secret Service and Drug Enforcement Administration.
Some examples of the purchases include:
• Nearly $2 million spent by the Department of Veterans Affairs on riot helmets, defender shields, body armor, a “milo return fire cannon system,” armored mobile shields, Kevlar blankets, tactical gear and equipment for crowd control.
• Over $300,000 spent by the Food and Drug Administration on “ballistic vests and carriers” in fiscal 2014.
• Over $200,000 on body armor spent by the Environmental Protection Agency during the Obama administration years, versus just $30,000 in the three previous fiscal years.
• More than $28,000 by the Smithsonian Institution on body armor for its “zoo police and security officers” in fiscal 2012. (more…)