Essentially, colleges across the United States are getting millions of dollars of gratuitous advanced military-grade weaponry every year; though technically there is no concrete data available to the public regarding weapon specifics, an even more concerning prospect. The equipment ranging from M-16’s to grenade launchers to armored vehicles is available for campus use. However, if the need arose, the equipment could also be used by the local community or even regionally.
Regardless of whether it is efficient or beneficial for military weapons to be reallocated to college campuses, the lack of statistical data and regulation of campus armament is evident.
The same military surplus program that supplied the College of William and Mary with a locker of fully automatic M-16 machine guns supplies local police units around the country, including that of Ferguson, Mississippi. Other colleges have also applied to the same governmental program in order to receive often higher levels of weaponry than M-16s, free of charge. For instance, Old Dominion University collected a much higher volume and intensity of militarized weaponry.All levels of local police forces, a category under which college campus police units fall, are allowed to apply to the government for free military equipment, due to the military’s Defense Logistics Agency, founded in 1999.Besides the fully automatic M-16 machine guns, the type of equipment available to college campuses consists of armored vehicles, high-tech militarized weaponry, and the same stun grenades used in Ferguson, Missouri.
With the extreme rise in public interest lately in the power of police forces I thought it would be interesting to study the police forces often overlooked but central to our lives, campus police. Every college campus of substantial size employs a police force to patrol their campuses and ensure the safety of their students. One can see such institutions would require some sort of body to keep order. A college environment can be a dangerous place considering the large numbers of young students with newly acquired freedoms, independence, and reduced surveillance. No doubt the levels of crime that naturally permeate society would also be present on college campuses, many would argue to a higher extent, especially in circumstances involving intoxication.