Cops, Communities In Danger In Wake of Obama Order

Cops, Communities In Danger In Wake of Obama Order

Cops, Communities In Danger In Wake of Obama Order

Valuable vehicles and equipment are being yanked from law enforcement agencies across the country by the Obama administration in the wake of the president’s post-Ferguson order -- as sheriffs and lawmakers tell FoxNews.com the equipment is needed, and losing it could put officers and the communities they serve in danger.

“These things are useful tools and the president taking them away will put more officers in jeopardy and at risk of harm or even death. I don’t know how he can sleep at night knowing his actions will have those repercussions,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., told FoxNews.com.

President Obama issued Executive Order 13688 in January after the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Mo., amid concerns about the “militarization” of the police fueling a heavy-handed response.

The controversy circled around the 1033 program, set up by the Defense Department in 1997. The program authorizes the Pentagon to send excess military equipment such as armored tracked vehicles, camouflage uniforms and weapons to local law enforcement agencies for no cost. Supporters of the program say it saves money for local agencies, strengthens those agencies and allows the U.S. to get a second use out of existing equipment.

Obama’s order set up a working group to provide recommendations on changes. The group, headed by officials at the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, then drew up a list of items that would either be controlled or prohibited entirely from being acquired via the 1033 program.

“We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there’s an occupying force, as opposed to a force that’s part of the community that’s protecting them and serving them. It can alienate and intimidate local residents, and send the wrong message. So we’re going to prohibit some equipment made for the battlefield that is not appropriate for local police departments,” Obama said in May when the report was released.

 

Read full story: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/11/23/outrage-as-military-vehicles-...