Police to get excess defense department items
By Lisa Brody
At their meeting on Monday, July 10, Bloomfield Township trustees unanimously approved a state of Michigan program that permits surplus property from the Secretary of Defense to be transferred to local law enforcement departments.
Police Chief James Gallagher explained that this program, the Secretary of Defense Excess Personal Property Transfer Program, allows excess federal law enforcement equipment to be transferred to local law enforcement departments rather than being destroyed. Equipment can include anything from armored vehicles and trucks to bandages and weapons.
To questioning from trustees, Gallagher said the department is not interested in acquiring an armored vehicle as the Oakland County Sheriff's Department has one, also acquired from the Secretary of Defense Excess Personal Property Transfer Program. “We have a great relationship with Oakland County, which has a tactical group,” he said.
According to the plan of operation from the state, the purpose of the program is to “transfer to Federal and State Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), personal property that is excess to the needs of the DoD, including small arms and ammunition, that the Secretary determines is suitable to be used by such agencies in law enforcement activities, with preferences for counter-drug/counter-terrorism, disaster-related emergency preparedness or border security activities, under such terms prescribed by the Secretary… the state shall assist in training LEAs (law enforcement agencies) with enrollment, property requests, transfers, turn-ins, and disposal procedures.”
Included in the items requested can be robots; “high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle;” mine-resistant ambush protected armored vehicles; and small arms.
Gallagher said since the program's inception, less than two percent of acquired goods are small arms.
He said the department is interested in possibly acquiring riot gear and other minor items.