The Troy University Police Department has acquired around $1 million in free equipment through a military program, according to University Police Chief John McCall.
The Military Surplus Program, through the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), allows state and city entities, such as university and city police and fire departments, to claim military equipment that is no longer needed at a military base.
According to McCall, it is as simple as going to a website and searching for what the department is in need of. He said he can search by military base or item, request the item he wants and pick it up at the military base if he is approved.
“As long as you can prove that you have some valid police use for the property, you can get anything,” he said.
McCall said he has gotten John Deere Gators, pickup trucks, Tasers, tools, a trailer, traffic signs and light trees (tall, portable lights). He said the department also got a generator that is being used in Ariton.
Some of the equipment the department has acquired can be used for emergencies, according to McCall, including M16 rifles, Humvees, a bobcat and tractors.
Some of the emergency equipment is technically on loan to the university, according to McCall, because if the military needed the equipment, they could come get it.
“We got two sky-watch towers from the military that we are going to use during football season,” McCall said. “That will let one officer be able to see a larger area during those large events.”
He said he hopes to utilize the program to get more Gators and golf carts that can be used across campus.
“We are hoping to get enough golf carts to replace the lease agreement the university has for golf carts to get more Gators,” he said.
McCall said some of the equipment requires repairs before it can be used, but said it still proves efficient for the university.
“We may spend a little to fix it, but it works out great for us,” he said. “It is great for money-saving for the university and police department.”