Police associations are beginning a major lobbying push to protect their access to the military equipment that was used against demonstrators in Ferguson, Mo., says The Hill. Law enforcement groups argue a Pentagon program that provides surplus military gear helps protect the public. They are gearing up for a fight with lawmakers and the Obama administration over whether it should be continued. “We intend to be at our most vigorous on this issue,” said Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police.
The FOP and other police groups are already meeting with lawmakers' staffs to get a jump on the issue before Congress returns from the August recess. Police groups fear a stopgap bill to fund the government, which Congress must pass in September to avoid a government shutdown, could be used to stop the transfer of military gear. Lawmakers in both parties have expressed support for curbing or defunding the Pentagon program. Pasco said his group is working to counter what he calls “misinformation.”