Monday, March 19, 2012

Voting with GOP doesn't get "Heh Heh Heh" Henry much surplus equipment

Webb County gets "casi nada" surplus equipment

It was the top story in Sunday's Laredo Morning Times: Laredo and other border towns/counties got very little in the way of much-needed military surplus equipment thanks to GOP governor Rick Perry. Surprisingly, even Henry Cuellar's (D-Tex) many GOP-leaning votes didn't seem to count for much when it came time to dole out the goods.

Here's how the Houston Chronicle reported it:

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon  distributed a record $468 million in surplus military equipment to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies last year — including $17.6 million to Texas.

Yet few of the 111 trucks, 267 guns or 14,000 other items allocated in Texas went to counties bordering Mexico, according to a breakout by the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services.

For example, police in Round Rock, 253 miles north of Laredo, received 4,526 pieces of surplus gear.
The Wichita County Sheriff's Department came in second, with 2,212 pieces. The police department in Rising Star, 371 miles north of Laredo, received 815.

Se les durmio el gallo- Perry's spokeswoman says equipment issued first come, first served.

Gov. Perry has routinely called border security a top priority. He has made “repeated requests” to meet with President Obama to discuss the need for greater federal resources along the border, spokeswoman Allison Castle said.

But the distribution of the equipment is on a “first come, first served” basis, “so every law enforcement agency in the program has equal access to the equipment,” Castle said. “Any law enforcement agency can sign up.”

All those GOP-leaning votes for what?

Even the well-connected Webb County Sheriff's Office, led by Martin Cuellar, the congressman's brother, has had little luck.

Since 2010, it has obtained just three major pieces of surplus military equipment: an all-terrain Humvee, an 8-ton armored personnel carrier and an observation helicopter to help track drug traffickers and spot victims in natural disasters.

The observation helicopter is one of 82 surplus military aircraft turned over to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies over the past 30 months.

“These were big items that would be hard to get with our budget constraints,” said Pete Arredondo, the assistant chief in the Webb County Sheriff's Office.

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1 comment:

  1. I don't know how the Sheriff's Dept. guards the border all by itself, and with limited equipment at its disposal.