Reason.com has been on the issue of militarized police for quite a while. And they've done a good job of keeping their readers up to speed and agitated. Here's a recent one from John Stossel titled Over-Policing America.
What brings this to our attention was the recent vehicle display at the preliminary event of the Midland, Texas, National Night earlier this month. Here's what the police and sheriff's deputies have to roll around in.
The brown one is a Lenco armored vehicle belonging to the police department. It appears to have the sole function of transporting a small group of people through gun fire. It looks puny compared to the next one.
Now get a load of the Sheriff's monster truck. The turret hole on top is closed off, but we don't know whether the gun turret is locked in a garage or whether the vehicle didn't come with it. Note that it has the "V" bottom to protect occupants from explosions underneath. That should be handy should ISIS drop some IEDs on Midland Drive.
At first blush the federal government's 1033 program seems like a reasonable way to get rid of surplus vehicles. However, military style vehicles are overkill in small communities with declining crime rates. There are definitely some hot spots around the world where decent people could use some armor. If the federal government wants to get rid of those vehicles perhaps better uses could be found in less peaceful places. Heck, line them up on the Southern border to form a fence.