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Here's how to find out what surplus military equipment your local police have

A map shows the location of MRAP vehicles and M16 firearms that have been obtained by local police departments in the state of Michigan.
Kaye LaFond
Michigan Radio

The 1033 program allows police departments in the United States to obtain surplus military equipment at no cost. 

We made an infographic so you could quickly see where police departments in the state have gotten M16 firearms and Mine Resistant Armor Protected Vehicles, or MRAPS. 

But, there's so much more information available. Did your police department get scuba gear? How about a helicopter?

We saw lots that surprised us. Think your tiny town wouldn't have any use for a mine detecting set? Think again. 

Back in 2014, the nonprofit FOIA organization MuckRock fought for this data to be publicly available, and compiled a report together with The Marshall Project.

Now, quarterly updates of what your local police currently have from the military can be found online. Here's how to look it up: 

1. Go to the Defense Logistics Agency's Law Enforcement Support Office public information site.

2. Click the link that says "ALASKA-WYOMING AND US TERRITORIES". It will download as an Excel spreadsheet. 

3. Open the spreadsheet, click on the "Michigan" tab, and look to your heart's content! 

If the item description isn't clear, you can google the National Stock Number, or NSN, to get more information on what exactly, for example, an "ACOG kit" is. 

Kaye is an alumnus of Michigan Tech's environmental engineering program. She got her start making maps for the Traverse City-Based water news organization Circle of Blue, and, since then, she's been pretty devoted to science communication and data visualization.
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