Police Expect Trump to Resume Providing Surplus Military Gear

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If president-elect Donald Trump keeps his promise, surplus military grenade launchers, bayonets, tracked armored vehicles, and high-powered firearms, and ammunition will again be available to state and local U.S. police departments, the Associated Press reports. National police organizations will hold Trump to that promise. President Obama restricted access last year 2015 amid an outcry over police use of armored vehicles and other war-fighting gear to confront protesters in Ferguson, Mo., after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. Federal officials have recalled more than 1,800 items, which have been destroyed through target practice or otherwise disposed of.

State and local police organizations have protested, insisting that military-style vehicles and gear help protect officers’ lives and public safety. A privately manufactured, tracked armored vehicle played a key role in the police response to the mass shooting at a county government building in San Bernardino, Ca., last December. In response to a Fraternal Order of Police questionnaire, Trump promised to rescind Obama’s order.  “We take him at his word,” said FOP director James Pasco. Criminologist Peter Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University said Obama’s order has had little effect because there was relatively little demand for the prohibited items to begin with. “It was more symbolic politics than anything substantive,” he said.

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