The Executive Order issued by President Barack Obama after Ferguson put restrictions on the police access to military surplus equipment and forced the recall of more than 1,800 items from local law enforcement.
The move by Obama was seen as more political than necessary by many but if President Elect Donald Trump keeps his word, law enforcement will once again have access to equipment that can help keep them safer.
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Items such as protective helmets and armored vehicles, too expensive for most agencies, could once again be available.
The tracked armored vehicle played a key role in the police response to the mass shooting at a county government building in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015.
The debate is over on whether this equipment is needed. The question is how can cash strapped agencies afford it. A soon to be President Trump may have the answer.
During his campaign he promised to rescind the executive order in a written response to a Fraternal Order of Police questionnaire that helped him win an endorsement from the organization of rank-and-file officers.
“The 1033 program is an excellent program that enhances community safety. I will rescind the current executive order,” reads the response posted on the group’s website.
For Oakland County, Michigan, Sheriff Michael Bouchard, whose tracked vehicle was recalled, rescinding the order would restore police access to equipment they’ve been denied for what he called “purely optic” reasons.
The argument against rescinding the order is that agencies would abuse their authority with the equipment to which we say that is ridiculous.
Training and guidelines could easily be in place to let professional law enforcement agencies utilize this much needed equipment to protect themselves and their community. We seriously doubt that the naysayers would have the same attitude if they were in a club in Orlando or a Christmas Party in San Bernardino and needed the police AND their equipment to save them.
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