The Trump administration plans to fully restore the transfer of military surplus to local law enforcement agencies.
President Barack Obama announced that he was placing limits on the transfer of military surplus to local police in the United States in the year 2015, but in an almost same fashion that has now become oft, his successor President Donald J. Trump has decided to make a direct U-turn on this policy.
The program was initiated in the 90s to curb waste in the military. The plan to transfer surplus military gear and equipment to federal, state and local police agencies helped in addressing the drug war that was prevalent at that time and has helped save over $5 billion.
In 2015, the Obama administration as a result of heightened tensions in the country over the killing of black men by police officers. The head on an altercation between the police and these communities started after an 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014 and this culminated in a topsy-turvy of sorts in such cities and ended up posing a much bigger threat to the breakdown of law and order in those communities.
The AG, former military chief, Jeff Sessions would make this announcement on Monday at the Fraternal Order of Police conference in Nashville, Tennessee even with many experts trying so hard to understand the rationale behind the changes to the program initiated by the Pentagon under the last administration. Already, the Trump administration is considered quite vociferous over several Obama policies before and since coming into power; and has successfully rolled back many of the policing reforms carried out under the previous Democrat government, in a bid to strengthen the Trump’s administration support among law enforcement.
The Trump administration has decided to restart the program in full swing and continue to provide local police departments with military grade equipment that are deemed surplus to requirement. While the argument for the reversal of the policy would rage on, our local law enforcement will get large-caliber arms and amunitions, according to a document obtained by the NY Times.
During the protests under the Obama administration, many images captured heavily armed police presence amongst the protesters in the protesting communities, and these were criticized by many commentators overtly unnecessary. Questions raged over the integrity of the local police departments across the country and especially in black communities. Many people, in fact, argue that the police department is no longer committed to the task of serving and protecting US citizens anymore.
While Obama banned the transfer of weaponry vehicles, particular large-caliber ammunition and other equipment and the restriction on transfer of some weapons and devices such as shields, riot helmets, etc., Trump has decided to do the exact opposite. He plans to reverse those bans through the signing of an executive order which was described as a “policy shift toward ensuring officers get the tools they need to minimize crime and keep their communities safe,” as per the document obtained. These, in a way, attempts to shine the light on the president’s order and the rationale behind the reversal of the policy.