The Oceanside Police Department purchased a Lenco BearCat armored vehicle with Equitable Sharing funds. Photo | Brad Racino

A federal program allowing police to seize money and assets related to drug trafficking has been good to San Diego County’s cops and prosecutors, providing nearly $30 million to their agencies between 2007 and 2014.

Law enforcement agencies have used that money to purchase equipment and to fund services they would otherwise do without.

Some examples:

  • El Cajon police bought a $15,000 “throwbot,” a robot SWAT teams throw into dangerous buildings.
  • San Diego police spent nearly $1.9 million on its helicopters.
  • National City police upgraded a fleet of vehicles.
  • Oceanside temporarily financed the purchase of a $243,000 BearCat, an armored, bullet-proof police vehicle.

All the documents detailing these purchases were released by the Washington Post in mid-January, and inewsource has made San Diego County’s available in a searchable database.

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