“The Coon Rapids Police Department has received a donation of M16A1 [top gun above] rifles [from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD),” abcnewspapers.com reports. “The department applied for the weapons after becoming aware that the DOD will donate surplus military rifles to law enforcement agencies in the country, according to Police Chief Brad Wise. On making a written request, the DOD, through its defense reutilization program, shipped 60 M16A1 rifles to the police department, Wise said.” Wikipedia IDs Coons Rapids as the Minnesota’s twelfth largest city with a population of 61,476 (2010 census, 22,578 households). The Coon Rapid po-po employs 64 officers—up from four officers in 2003, when the population was 12,500. The cops are ditching 24 H&K MP5’s for the M16’s, and that’s ’cause . . .
[The M16’s] rifles shoot a .223 round, which is a considerable upgrade in ballistic power from the department’s existing .40 caliber rifles,” he said.
The department will place about 30 of the rifles into service in marked squads and detective squads, Wise said.
The extra rifles were requested for spare parts, he said.
And then . . .
According to Wise, after training officers as armorers, the department plans to upgrade these rifles with new collapsible stocks and new, shorter barrels, which will effectively convert the rifles to an A4 configuration . . .
The cost of upgrading the rifles, estimated to be $800 per weapon.
I make that $48k. No biggie. The city’s 2011 – 2012 budget: $52,517,872. In 2007, public safety accounted for 46 percent of the total. Anyway, the lion’s share comes from you (via Uncle Sam). In case you’re not up-to-date on the LEO 1033 military transfer program . . .
The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes the Secretary of Defense to transfer excess Department of Defense (DOD) personal property to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies with special emphasis given to counter-drug and counter-terrorism initiatives . . .
If your LEA qualifies and chooses to participate, your organization will become one of over 17,646 (local, state, and federal), which have taken advantage of this unique program.
Available items include weapons, vehicles, protective clothing, night vision equipment, aircraft, and much more. A shipping and handling fee is charged by DOD for weapons. M14’s, M16’s, and .45 caliber handguns are currently available through the 1033 program.
In 2011, the Pentagon transferred some $500m worth of military weaponry to local police. Good idea? We report, you deride.