Surplus military equipment such as armored vehicles, large-caliber weapons and ammunition, should be given to police departments all over the country, according to the Trump Administration. A report in USA today and the New York Post stated that the White House wants to lift the ban on re-purposing military equipment for community policing.
Back in 2015, then President Obama signed an executive order in blocking the transfer of said equipment to local police officers. Military material could no longer be transferred from any foreign battlefield to America's streets as the Democratic administration wanted to create a new image for the police force.
However, already in 2014, a review of the federal program handling this found that the state of New York had in the past been a great benefactor of these supplies. The different law enforcement agencies hauled in almost 4,000 pieces of surplus military equipment, for an estimated value of well over $26 million.
Equipment gifts included, amongst others, M-16 and M-14 military rifles and several Humvees.
The timing is of course no surprise. Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be addressing the annual meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police, which is the largest police union in the nation. It seems like the correct place to address this issue and inform the public of lifting the said ban.
The Trump administration has circulated a report to some law enforcement agencies already, probably to test the waters on this.
USA Today was able to obtain a copy. The outline states that "the full scope of a longstanding program for recycling surplus, lifesaving gear from the Department of Defense, along with restoring the full scope of grants used to purchase this type of equipment from other sources.”
"Assets that would otherwise be scrapped can be re-purposed to help state, local and tribal law enforcement better protect public safety and reduce crime."
Trump is keen on overturning anything that Obama signed it seems. We can only estimate that his supporters agree.