Several months ago, the New York Times released government data tracing excess military equipment given to police departments throughout the country. The events in Ferguson over the last few weeks have brought national attention to the issue of police militarization, and this data has gained sudden relevance. I Quant NY analyzed the data to see just how military equipment was distributed over the state of New York.
The state as a whole received lots of vehicles, but also 55 night vision goggles and one half-a-million dollar “combat/assault/tactical” vehicle that found its way to Broome County. So keep yours eyes peeled for that Binghamton! And that’s not to mention the eight mine resistant vehicles that went to 8 different counties, and the 293 military rifles (Either 5.56mm and 7.62mm).
Digging in on specific equipment per county, it turns out that a mine resistant vehicle and 4 trucks propelled Hamilton County to the top of the per resident list, and two trucks made tiny Clinton County, home to less than 5 thousand people, second. What made Albany number three on a per resident basis? Well, 98 rifles, 4 utility trucks, 49 pairs of night vision goggles, a mine resistant vehicle, an air plane and a helicopter probably helped.