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Los Angeles County Sheriff Asks Government To Restore Military Surplus Program

Los Angeles County Sheriff Asks Government To Restore Military Surplus Program

The leader of the nation’s largest sheriff’s department said Wednesday that federal officials should restore the flow of surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies to ensure officers aren’t put in danger when responding to active shooter calls and terrorist attacks.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell told members of the House Judiciary Committee that it was critical for the federal government to reconsider the curtailment of a program that provided military-style equipment, including military grenade launchers, bayonets, armored vehicles and high-powered firearms and ammunition, to state and local police departments.

“What we’re trying to be able to do is to avail ourselves to the tools necessary to be able to put between our deputies and the danger — an active shooter, an explosion, those kinds of things,” McDonnell told The Associated Press Wednesday.

Then-president Barack Obama issued an executive order in 2015 that curtailed the 1033 program, restricting access to some surplus equipment after an outcry over the use of military gear when police confronted protesters in Ferguson, Missouri after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Police responded in riot gear and deployed tear gas, dogs and armored vehicles. At times they also pointed assault rifles at protesters.

Since the executive order was put into place, the Defense Logistics Agency recalled hundreds of pieces of surplus equipment provided to police agencies through the 1033 program.

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  • Kate K

    my guess is 99% of the public does not think police departments should have this stuff

  • Katrina

    Some of this equipment has proven invaluable for rescues. Our officers need some of it to protect them so they can in turn protect us. Unless you are prepared to protect yourself from terrorist attacks, natural disasters, or active shooters, why would you oppose it? When trouble comes to your doorstep, you call the police. Why wouldn’t you want them fully prepared to help you?

    • Kate K

      police need bayonets for natural disasters? Grenade launchers?
      As far as “active shooters” : US gun homicide has plummeted for decades now, and is down to almost 1/3 of the rate of the early 1990’s. More to the point 93% of US shootings are by prior criminals. What police want is longer sentences for bad guys so they don’t end up on the streets again so quickly.

      • Katrina

        I never implied each piece of equipment would be used for natural disasters, but that some has.
        Just because bayonets are on the available surplus list doesn’t mean departments are applying for them. Have you seen any police with bayonets? I have not.
        What does a decrease in gun homicide have to do with anything? It is still happening. They used some of this equipment in Orlando. You may live in a rainbow and unicorn bubble, but here in the real world, shootings are continuing, and police need any added protection available to them.

    • Kate K

      active shooters? US gun murder has fallen more than 60% in the past 25 year. It is on a sustained long term decrease

  • GarandFan

    Bayonets? 30 years as a cop. You’re really REACHING on that one. As for “grenade launchers”, guess you’re also so damned stupid that you don’t know that gas grenades are launched by, GASP!, “grenade launchers”.

  • RichPorardo

    Sanctuary city? NOPE, screw you.

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