MI Officials Say Obama Order To Return Military Equipment Is Wrong-Headed


Michigan law enforcement agencies are returning donated surplus military equipment to the federal government this month, including tracked armored vehicles that metro Detroit sheriff’s offices have had for more than a decade, and they are unhappy about it, reports the Detroit Free Press. “It really upsets me. We have a great asset. We have not abused it, and in just a blanket order we can no longer have it,” Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said of the tracked armored vehicle his office has had for its SWAT team since 2004. “Look what's happening around the country — mass shootings, barricaded gunman. An armored vehicle gives law enforcement the upper hand.”

Tomorrow, that piece of equipment will be hauled away to a Department of Defense military training range to use as a more realistic target for aviators and ground forces. Next week, Wickersham plans to ask Macomb County commissioners use $350,000 in savings from his office to buy a wheeled vehicle as a replacement. In his annual State of the County address yesterday, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said that after 14 people were killed yesterday in a California mass shooting, he heard President Obama say there are ways to make America safer. Hackel urged Obama that if he wanted to make first responders safer “first thing tomorrow morning rescind that order” [to return the military equipment.]

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