The Department of Defense applies a broad definition of "military gear" when it makes surplus items available to local law enforcement via its excess property program. In addition to combat vehicles and assault rifles, police departments have obtained everything from karaoke machines to bouncy castles through the DoD program, free of charge.
Below, an incomplete list of some of the oddest things to show up in the DoD's database of transferred items since 2006, along with their listed dollar values and the county of the law enforcement agency they were sent to. Do note that the photos are stock images from Flickr, not pictures of the actual items.
Nine BMX Rollerskate Helmets, valued at $45 each.
Delivered to - where else? - Los Angeles County, California in 2012.
Bowling ball glow pins, box of ten, valued at $115.
Law enforcement officials in Grant County, WV, were in the mood for some midnight madness bowling in 2012.
One bouncy castle, with blower, valued at $500.
Everybody loves a bouncy castle, especially the police force in Genesee County, Michigan.
One VCR player for personal/home use, valued at $195.
DVDs are overrated, anyway - ain't that right, Jones County, NC?
Two complete karaoke sets, valued at $2,400.
Delivered to Whatcom County, WA in 2012.
Two cornets, two saxophones, one euphonium, one alto horn, two flugelhorns, a clarinet in e flat, two tenor trombones, and three sets of cymbals, valued at over $13,000
Trumbull County, OH is ready to join the band.
Smokers' articles and matches, two, valued at $0
Delivered to San Diego County in 2014.
One arm wrestling bench, valued at $200
The police department is over the top in Weld County, CO.
136 clock radios, valued at $8 each.
Nobody will ever be late in Orange County, CA again.
7,500 pairs of mens' drawers, valued at $1.92 each
Delivered to Fulton County, GA in 2012.
One hot dog machine, valued at $150.
Delivered to Maricopa County, AZ in 2012.
10 sets of ballistic dog goggles, valued at $20 each.
Man's best friend is well-protected in Napa Valley, CA.