“You often use the tool that you have regardless of whether it’s useful or correct,” Mewhirter says, citing that the study has been replicated by academics and so far, “the finding has held every time.”
“Since the program’s inception, we ‘ve witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of military items that have been transferred to law enforcement agencies,” and even more so since section 1033 of the 1997 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the Secretary of Defense to sell or transfer excess military equipment to local agencies, says Mewhirter.
According to the study, between 2006 and April of 2014, the Department of Defense transferred over $1.5 billion worth of equipment including over 600 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, 79,288 assault rifles, 205 grenade launchers, 11,959 bayonets, 50 airplanes, 422 helicopters and $3.6 million worth of camouflage and other “deception equipment.”
Mewhirter's research expertise is in public policy, the emergence of societal problems and inefficiencies as well as the policy tools available to correct them. He also examines the organizations charged with the implementation of policies, the factors that impact organizational effectiveness and the evaluation of implemented policies.
Featured image at top: A police force responds to enforce curfew. photo/Donovan Valdivia/Unsplash/