The article by Dennis Wagner said the request from the Defense Logistics Agency, the Pentagon office responsible for overseeing the distribution of this excess military gear to law enforcement agencies, came in the aftermath of the Arizona Republic’s May 20 article detailing that the sheriff’s office has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of vehicles and medical equipment to some non-police organizations.
The article also alleges that Babeu had plans to sell some of the equipment, as evidenced by his statement to the Pinal County Board of Supervisors in March that he intended to balance his budget shortfall in part by auctioning equipment procured from the military.
Rules of the so-called 1033 program prohibit requisitioning of surplus military gear for purposes of raising funds for budgets.
The PCSO has reportedly collected humvees, fire trucks, guns, defibrillators, barber chairs, thermal imaging scopes and goggles, underwear, blankets, kitchen equipment, computers, motor scooters and other items, some of which it uses in the Pinal County Jail, some of which is used by the Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement purposes, and some of which has been lent to other non-police agencies.
By Betty Swanson