Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I wrote yesterday about the military equipment sent to Georgia counties for law enforcement, including some oddities in the data. Go back and see that one if you missed it. Some funny stuff.

Let's continue. To start, I rank below the Top 5 Georgia counties in terms of how much military gear they received for law enforcement and, in parentheses, include the rank of each county by the number of crimes per 100,000 people. In other words, are more crime-ridden counties asking and getting more surplus military gear for their cops? Check it out.
  1. Fulton (6th)
  2. Carroll (42nd)
  3. Lee (81st)
  4. Walton (79th)
  5. Meriwether (50th)
Fulton County makes sense. It's Atlanta, it's huge. But look at the others. Carroll County not only received four grenade launchers, it's 2nd in terms of stuff received but ranked only 42nd in terms of number of crimes per 100,000 people.

Of course it may not be the amount of crime that drives this, but the poverty of the counties and how badly they need the gear. That's a reasonable hypothesis. Let's check it out.

Take Lee County -- 3rd on the military gear list, but 152nd in terms of poverty among Georgia's 159 counties. Carroll is 104th in poverty, Walton 139th. Meriwether County is 80th. As there are a number of counties with much higher poverty rates but lower on the military gear list, that's not a particularly compelling hypothesis. So what explains it? I dunno. It may be something as simple and non-linear as some counties have a person who realizes there's free stuff and knows how to get it. It makes as much sense as any other explanation, at least so far. I'm open to suggestions.

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