USA Today published an article regarding six million dollars worth of military surplus being given to Pennsylvania police departments. One Carbon County borough is on the list.
Weatherly police have received 25 thousand dollars in acquisitions, but the equipment is not what immediately comes to mind when you think about military surplus.
Police said none of the equipment given to the Weatherly department is in the form of weapons or protection, and the community benefits from some of it more than officers do.
When you think of military surplus, you think of guns, ammo, bullet proof vests, maybe even tanks. But in the case of Weatherly Borough, the closest thing they received to combat equipment is boots for the police department.
"There are some good things that come out of the 10-33 program, or the federal excess program. It's not just the militarization of the police as the social media and that would lead you to believe." said Weatherly police chief Brian Markovchick.
Markovchick's force hasn't received any riot shields or assault rifles through military surplus, but the department got a box truck in the fall to mobilize their crime scene and traffic reconstruction tools. Lightly or never-before used equipment comes through the what's called the 10-33 program.
"It was either stored for wartime or for some other mission and was never used. And then they found it was out of date by their standards for storage." He said.
Other items they received over the years include new storage lockers for officers, storage containers, even a ladder. The borough also received three large generators in case of power outages. One is stationary behind the new borough building and will power these offices, the police station, and the magistrate's office. The other two are on a trailer and will power local wells so Weatherly residents can still have running water when there's no power. Markovchick said most of these useful items would never be put in the budget for purchase so this program saves local taxpayers money.
"We wouldn't afford it." Markovchick said, "We wouldn't have the luxuries of that extra vehicle, which was no cost to the borough taxpayers. It as all federal excess. We wouldn't have the luxury of a trailer. "
Other police departments do receive things like tanks and weapons, but so far none of that has come to Carbon County.