Utah Police Obtain Grenade Launchers, Riot Gear From Feds
Like FEMA, local police are also preparing for mass panic
January 21, 2014
Police departments across Utah have been receiving surplus military gear well-suited for riot control, such as grenade launchers and armored vehicles, through a U.S. Department of Defense program that is far more prevalent than what was previously known, according to recently released documents.
For the past four years, the Pentagon has equipped dozens of Utah police departments with a wide variety of military equipment commonly used in riot response such as the aforementioned grenade launchers, M14s, M16s and mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles through the Excess Property 1033 Program, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
In total, over 2,240 pieces of military equipment valued at nearly $3 million has been sent to Utah since 2009, an amount far more staggering than what was revealed before.
Several of the sheriffs indicated that the equipment would only be used in worst-case scenarios.
“Are they absolutely necessary? Well, you never know,” Wasatch County Sheriff Todd Bonner said. “It’s good to be prepared.”
Iron Co. Sheriff Mark Gower also said that his department’s MRAP will only be used in “very, very limited situations where we anticipate the possibility of someone shooting at us.”