Life Vests, Tents, a Radiation Detector and Other Military Surplus Items Provided to SPD

UPDATE 9/1/2017: The Seattle Police Department has not acquired any new items via the Department of Defense 1033 federal surplus program since this post was originally published in 2014.

Of the original items listed below, the SPD has only retained coveralls, gloves and a utility cabinet. All other items were returned to the 1033 program or discarded. SPD also no longer maintains an account with the 1033 program.

The department remains committed to providing constitutional and effective public safety service without the aid of military equipment.


In light of the ongoing national conversation about the militarization of law enforcement agencies in the United States, the Seattle Police Department has received several requests for information about military equipment purchased through a federal surplus program.

Those items—provided by the Department of Defense between May 2010 and March 2014—are listed below:

  • Flotation vests
  • Ballistic plates for officers’ bulletproof vests
  • Binoculars
  • Telescopes
  • Signage
  • Ventilated tents
  • A radiation detector
  • Rifle sights, used by the approximately 130 officers who have passed the department’s rifle-certification program.
  • Two utility trucks, which the department returned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord after seven months.
  • Coveralls
  • Gloves
  • A metal utility cabinet
  • And pistol holsters

You can download a spreadsheet detailing these items here.

The prices listed in the spreadsheet show the items’ original value, not the amount paid by SPD. Equipment provided through the DoD’s 1033 surplus program only requires police agencies to cover the cost of shipping.

Images via Creative Commons