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Let Police Keep Military Surplus, Say Michigan Officials

December 08, 2015  | 

Six Republican members of Michigan's congressional delegation wrote President Barack Obama on Monday asking him to reconsider a decision made earlier this year to have law enforcement agencies return surplus military equipment out of concern it could undermine confidence in police, reports the Detroit Free Press.

The letter from the six GOP members came in the wake of a Free Press report last week about complaints from Michigan law enforcement agencies that the loss of military equipment, especially tracked armored vehicles, deprived them of key assets they may not be able to replace.

"You have registered your concerns about the perception the public could have when seeing state and local law enforcement agencies utilizing such equipment in responding to criminal situations," the letter said. "However, we caution you to avoid penalizing every state and local law enforcement agency … for the bad acts of a few."

The letter also noted last week's shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., saying "local police and emergency personnel are on the front lines of this new phase in the terrorists' war against us" and that it "stands to reason" surplus military equipment should benefit the taxpayers by remaining in the hands of police.


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