Veterans Administration Buying Riot Gear as Part of Coronavirus Response
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
The federal government is quietly spending more money on security services and equipment, including issuing contracts for such items as “police gear, disposable cuffs, gas masks, ballistic helmets, riot gloves.”
The government isn’t just restocking the shelves. It’s part of a larger effort to beef up security in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
According to The Intercept, the Veterans Administration is one of the big buyers of services and gear:
The increased security contracts appeared shortly after a recent Inspector General report noted an increase in absenteeism among VA employees and shortages among VA police. The IG report noted that there is “additional strain caused by the need for additional police presence for COVID-19-related screenings” of veterans at all VA health facilities and recommended the hiring of contract security services.
Not all VA police carried firearms until 2000, when the agency began a program to provide military equipment to police forces around the country.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that FEMA ordered an additional 100,000 body bags in case a worst-case scenario for coronavirus deaths occurred.
It’s not the first time government agencies have entered the market for riot gear, among other security-related items. Some agencies, like the IRS, “have 2,300 Special Agents…allowed to carry AR-15’s, P90 tactical rifles, and other heavy weaponry.”
There are armed personnel in the Small Business Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, even the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Image Credit: By Jamelle Bouie [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons