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Police Associations Fight to Keep Military Surplus Gear

August 28, 2014  | 

Police associations are beginning a major lobbying push to protect their access to the military equipment that was used against demonstrators in Ferguson, Mo., reports

Law enforcement groups argue a Pentagon program that provides surplus military gear helps protect the public, and they are gearing up for a fight with lawmakers and the Obama administration over whether it should be continued.

"We are the most vigorous law enforcement advocacy group, and we intend to be at our most vigorous on this issue," said Jim Pasco, the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police organization in the country.

The Fraternal Order and other groups told The Hill that they are already meeting with lawmakers' offices in an attempt to get a jump on the issue before Congress returns from the August recess.

"It looks like the main thrust of our effort is going to be educational because there's an awful lot of misunderstanding and an awful lot of misinformation about this equipment as to its purposes and its application in civilian law enforcement," Pasco said.

Comments (9)

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Forrest @ 8/28/2014 3:27 PM

The article states that there is a lot of "misinformation" out there. I don't see a whole lot of that. Especially in the case of bayonets being sold to my own local police force. What am I misinformed about that I think giving an item designed to "kill, kill, kill with the cold blue steel" to people sworn to serve and protect is a?very, very bad idea?

I have a suggestion. Mandate body worn cameras for all US law enforcement agencies who use this equipment. You get your guns, tear gas, and even bayonets and baclavas; and the public gets to see exactly when and how often they are used by cameras which have shown an ability to drop complaints against officers by as much as 88%.

I support law enforcement's efforts to reduce crime. As a former infantry sgt and current private investigator, I know the dangers officers face on a daily basis and I want all of you to be safe. But as a citizen, what y'all are doing scares the crap out of me and it must stop. Lines are being crossed

Donna Redden @ 8/28/2014 9:37 PM

They sure could use the gear !! St. Louis county has their hands full !

CubsFan @ 8/29/2014 6:38 AM

Apparently you are misinformed Forrest. If your local PD acquired anything through the 1033 program, bayonets or otherwise, it was donated by the military & not sold.

Tom Ret @ 8/29/2014 7:22 AM

Before Obama leaves office, will terrorism come to this country on a much larger scale? If so, this discussion will be moot. The Brits apparently think it may be coming to their country as they just raised their alert level from substantial to severe.

Mike Kilpatrick @ 8/29/2014 10:16 AM

Our Police Forces deserve the best equipment possible to defend our Nation and those who lives are on the line, give them what ever they need no matter how much it cost. America gives Billions of US Tax Payer monies to every Tom, Dick and Harry overseas its time we start taken care of our own and why not?

Bill @ 8/29/2014 10:36 AM

I'm very torn about this. The direction of this country is almost guaranteeing severe, widespread unrest/conflict. While I see the need for, and the benefit of, having military implements the idea that such implements can be used against people like myself scares the crap out of me.
I am very displeased with the path government(at all levels) is taking, and I am very vocal about that. How long before my dissent is considered terroristic/threatening. My federal government is already warning about veteran/conservative/militia-types becoming 'domestic terrorists'. Eric (everyone's-a-racist) Holder has created a task force to address this 'very issue'.
On the other hand, we do have some very existential threats in our backyard. Not to mention, there are many sheriffs and peace officers out there who still take their oaths seriously. The CSPOA is growing all the time.
I guess only time will tell.

Cherry @ 8/29/2014 1:06 PM

Here we go just take everything from us let gangs terrorist etc come at us with all of there fire power ,we are dropping like flys out here they don't want us. To be prepared until it's to late guess they forgot bout La , bank robbery also we are trained for equipment most officers have military training let is keep surplus we need it

Bill @ 8/30/2014 2:24 PM

I agree, Cherry; to an extent.
But this equipment can't be used on the masses. This equipment is to be reserved for only the most extreme cases.

Most of the equipment that comes from the 1033 program is mundane. Some items are not so mundane. Perhaps more restrictive policies on the deployment of certain equipment/tactics is something that can be considered.

What is happening now is not proper. I get that we have had some avoidable losses, but to deploy the maximum response everytime is a severe step in a bad direction.

Serving warrants is not a swatt job, unless the subject is known to be someone who would merit such a tactic. Any swatt that accepts such a mission is acting outside of their charter. That charter is the publics trust.

Like I have said before, we are all neighbors. For better or worse, the people and the peace officer are married.

Richard Hightower @ 9/2/2014 5:58 AM

Anything that the general public / citizenry cannot be "trusted" to have in their possession cannot be trusted in the hands of Police / Peace Officers.

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