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 thehill.com.

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.

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