The Military Industrial Complex Yard Sale

Every year the Pentagon distributes its excess equipment to local police departments across the country. This equipment includes assault rifles, grenade launchers, armored vehicles, night-vision goggles, and various aircraft.

The Pentagon, however, is passing around much more than military-grade nightmare gear, according to data released to MuckRock under a Freedom of Information Act request. Here's a list of items that the Pentagon has also distributed the to local agencies across the country (I've also published this list previously on my blog):

31 armoires

1 money counter

6 french horns and 1 euphonium

179 assorted lawn mowers

271 assorted treadmills

72 golf carts and 1 order of golf balls

2 pizza ovens

Pizza Anniversary

37 kitchen spatulas, 35 laboratory spatulas, and 3 dental spatulas

71 dessert spoons, 82 tea spoons, and 12 picnic spoons

30 shower curtain hooks

1 pair of cotton underwear

1252 laundry bags

1 recumbent exercise bike

39 scooters


5809 wet weather poncho liners

2 food carrying carts

17 dish towels

23 soccer balls

3 fishing boats, 19 kayaks, and 7 canoes

10 men's pajama trousers

jmp santa0052

21 kevlar goatskin combat gloves

4758 neckerchiefs

1 santa’s uniform

1 simulated suicide bomber vest

4 black rain coats

3 “slaving” accessories (I’m hoping this is a typo)

1 bouncy castle w/ blower


The Times, which recently ran an interactive piece about the Pentagon's equipment program, notes that “this data does not represent all of the military-style gear that law enforcement agencies have. Agencies also purchase equipment with their own money or with federal grants.” It’s a distinct possibility that there’s more than one police department with a bouncy castle out there, inhabited, I hope, by a santasuit-wearing cop holding an assault rifle in one hand and a dental spatula in the other.

Download the original data here.