I was slightly incorrect, the defense contractors don't sell to the PD's, it comes from the military direct and I think it may be free. A lot of the military high ups in the US have said "we don't need all this stuff" when the government puts in big orders for new tech, or at least it's more a case of "that's not what we need" because I'm sure they're happy to have such a large budget spent on them. But the politicians keep ordering that shit because a) the money is paid to the defense contractors that donate to their campaigns b) the military budget is basically a jobs programme for the constituents of many of them and no one wants to be in a biannual election cycle and be blamed as the guy who got the town's tank factory shut down.Yeah. There seems to be a whole industry built up around flogging ex-mil stuff to PDs. R & D for those things are quite high I'm assuming, and if your sole market is US Mil and they decide to switch to a different vehicle you'd be up shit creek.
So just flog them to the Alabama PDs etc. Cops bang on relentlessly about how dangerous the job is (despite the fact it's not very dangerous), so the stuff sells itself.
So the military gets all this new shit, despite having perfectly adequate killing machines already and by law excess stock has to be made available to the police. The local departments go "oh that tank is cool, I'd like that please" and all of a sudden they have a tank. And what's the point of having a tank if you're not going to use the tank? Even college campus and school district police departments are in possession of ex military tech. The LA school district police department (TIL that school districts have police departments BTW) own 3 grenade launchers and the Ohio state campus cops own a "Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected" vehicle complete with its own machine gun turret. Considering that Arizona State owns 70 ex military M-16's (The Rambo 2 gun) I'm sure that Ohio State has a few of them to stick on top of their MRAP as well.
Obama actually signed an executive order limiting some of the things that could be made available to the police but obviously Trump rescinded that,
(thank you wikipedia, ma fren)