BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A group of Connecticut newspapers reports that nearly two dozen police departments in southwestern Connecticut have an inventory of M-16 assault rifles, utility trucks, Commando armored cars, a mine-resistant vehicle, an armored truck and a Huey helicopter.
The Hearst Connecticut Media Group reports that an open records request shows 19 police departments in southwestern Connecticut have received free surplus military equipment from the Department of Defense since 2006. That’s more than half the 35 departments in the region.
The Defense Department’s Law Enforcement Support Office has come under scrutiny after the militarized police response to violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
Local police say it’s good news that there hasn’t been a need to use the $923,000 helicopter for Stratford police, $658,000 anti-mine truck for Trumbull police and other equipment.