National News

Trump to revive program that gives military grade equipment to police

Posted August 29

— President Donald Trump is continuing his efforts to undo Obama-era policies.

This time he is reviving a defunct program providing local law enforcement with military grade gear.

"President Trump said he was law and order president and steps like this prove that," Kingston and Mayville's Police Chief Tony Coln said.

That step is reversing a restriction on military hardware for local police departments, which means more heavy duty equipment will soon be in the hands of local police forces.

In 2015 President Obama signed an order limiting the use of heavy duty military equipment for police work saying it showed "unnecessary force and intimidation."

Coln said the program definitely has its benefits for local departments.

"One of the biggest ones ins the Humvee," Coln said. "We've gotten that and we've gotten two big generators."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said military hardware refers to things like grenade launchers, armored vehicles and bayonets.

Some of which, Coln said is necessary.

"I can't speak to the bayonets and grenade launchers, but your armored and tracked vehicles help jurisdictions have SWAT and emergency response teams. They help protect the officers, not only when they're dealing with stuff like an armed gunmen or maybe a bomb threat. It keeps officers safe and they're able to keep the public safe," Coln said.

When it comes to the concerns over giving local police too much military equipment, Coln said they need to put safety of those who serve and protect first.

"No officer wants to be labeled as military, but criminals are getting more advanced and they're getting bigger and better equipment and the local law enforcement have to keep up with that threat," Coln said.

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