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Concerns Raised About Military Equipment For Police Departments

 
Concerns Raised About Military Equipment For Police Departments
Posted Friday, August 15th 2014 @ 5pm  by Matt Bruning

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSPD) -- In the wake of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, more and more surplus military equipment is finding its way to the streets of America.

There have been concerns raised over the military-look of the police dealing with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. said he is "deeply concerned" about deployment of military equipment and vehicles and the message it sends. Similar statements have come from Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

Some have raised questions about whether or not a local police department needs a mine-resistant vehicle.

"We don't have a problem with mines in Ohio like they have in war zones. What we're using them for in Ohio, and hopefully we never have to use them, it provides cover for law enforcement officers when things really hit the fan," said Jay McDonald, president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Ohio.

The equipment really started showing up as a way to combat terrorism in America. Grants have been made available from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and U.S. Dept of Justice to help pay for equipment like body armor, night vision goggles, and helicopters.

The other option is to scrap the vehicles and dump them in landfills, according to McDonald who welcomes the additional equipment.

"If there's technology or equipment available that could make Ohio's law enforcement officers safer and the community safer than I'm all for it," he said.

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