POGO Analysis Finds Military Equipment Transfers to Police Up Nearly 56 Percent

Transfers were on the rise before today’s policy announcement

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August 28, 2017

Today, the Trump Administration announced that it is rolling back transparency and accountability in the government's military surplus transfer program that provides military-grade hardware to local law enforcement.

The administration claims, without publicly presenting any evidence, that these steps are necessary to address a gap in protecting the American people. Yet our analysis reveals that equipment transfers under that program were actually already on the rise under the Trump Administration before today’s announcement that restrictions would be removed. From January 20, 2017 to June 30 the program distributed over $203 million worth of gear, nearly a 56% increase over the more than $130 million given out over the same period during 2016.

POGO’s Executive Director Danielle Brian released the following statement:

Today’s move by the Trump Administration creates the impression that oversight kept law enforcement from getting surplus military hardware, but our analysis shows this clearly not true.

Today’s announcement rolls back important accountability measures. In light of a recent government report highlighting continuing problems with the program’s vetting measures, we should be looking to build more oversight into the system, not less.

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Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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