Obama: ‘Some Battlefield Equipment Not Appropriate for Police’

We’ve all noticed that our local police departments have become more militarized in the past decade or so. Many chalk this up to the post-911 mindset that calls for a larger and more equipped police force to confront the ever-changing face of domestic terrorism. But recently, folks have started to wonder if police really need all that extra stuff to enforce the law.

A sure sign that perhaps the pendulum has swung too far over in the direction of an overly accessorized police force is that on Monday president Barack Obama unexpectedly announced that the federal government will no longer send certain military items to local departments.

“We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people the feeling like there’s an occupying force as opposed to a force that’s part of the community,” Obama said during a visit in Camden. “We’re going to prohibit some equipment made for the battlefield that is not appropriate for local police departments.”

Specifically, the fed will no longer send tracked armored vehicles, grenade launchers or bayonets to police. Additionally, explosives and riot equipment will only be sent if departments agree to use it responsibly.

“The idea is to make sure that we strike a balance in providing the equipment, which is appropriate and useful and important for local law enforcement agencies to keep the community safe, while at the same time putting standards in place so that there’s a clear reason for the transfer of that equipment, that there’s clear training and safety procedures in place,” White House Director of Domestic Policy Cecilia Muñoz said in a Sunday call with reporters.

Bottom line, Obama seems like he’s trying to de-militarize the police. However, one has to wonder whether it’s going to make much of a difference as once the genie is out of the bottle, there is no putting him back in. Put another way, many of these departments already have military equipment and a desire to obtain more.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • jphamilton May 31, 2015, 11:45 am

    Once again the administration shows its racist underpinings. It is only because these surplus items were shown in the media being used on blacks that the issue is being raised. Research it yourself – did the White House send any representatives to cop funerals? (Spoiler alert – the answer is no). But the White House has had a rep present at protests and funerals of black criminals killed by police. It is very clear who this administration is for if you watch what they do, rather than what they say.

  • Dale W Johnson May 29, 2015, 2:03 am

    We don’t need paramilitary forces on our streets, what are we, Nicaragua? There has to have some kind of restrictions because I don’t trust the police to do the right thing. As for they already have it, take it away. I’ve been in countries with AK’s at every corner and America should be better than that caveman mentality. Too many dummies have access to guns, the NRA is wrong on this. The more that idiots get guns, the more they will have to be watched and clean up a lot of bloody messes. We should make it harder for these a-holes to get guns, and I’ll still have mine.

  • Sheldon Padawer May 28, 2015, 3:02 pm

    So – how does deal with a situation made apparently hopeless?

  • Tyson Mendel May 26, 2015, 8:24 pm

    If American’s are going to have the right to keep and carry military type weapons so must our police…end of discussion!

    • Administrator May 26, 2015, 9:24 pm

      This isn’t about ar-15s moron. It’s about armored personal carriers and actual tanks.

    • Chris Mallory May 27, 2015, 8:51 pm

      Nope, you are wrong. Citizens should always be able to outgun the police. Anything else is a police state. If any thing it is well past time to start disarming the cops.

  • Loupgarous May 26, 2015, 3:05 pm

    Obama hasn’t done a single thing about the militarization of FEDERAL law-enforcement. As far as I can tell, the bid requests and purchase order for enough small-arms ammunition to have kept the US Army fighting in Iraq (many processed by a Department of Homeland Security employee who was kept on the Federal payroll FOUR MONTHS after his racist Web site calling for the murder of Americans for racial reasons was discovered by the Southern Poverty Law Center) have never been rescinded.

    Obama WANTS highly-militarized police when they are subservient to him or his partner in crime, Eric Holder.

  • Gary B May 26, 2015, 10:03 am

    My biggest concern is not about the use of bayonets or grenade launchers (And the police use a different caliber tear gas grenade usually) but with the US Government taking a active role on the local police operation. Once these regulations are in force the Federal regulators can and will inspect the different police agencies for compliance with a multitude of things and your cost to run your own police department will spiral out of control and the timeliness of the needed response will go out the window. It’s not the equipment, but the flypaper those use agreements are written on.

  • Ben May 26, 2015, 8:44 am

    All this BS from the person who is looking at the possibility of federalizing police all around the country thus creating his own army. If that happens they will get a whole lot more militarized equipment that now he is trying to say they can’t have. I think the only reason he’s saying they can’t have it now is because he wants to save it for his newly federalized police force, if in fact that is allowed to happen.

  • Nate Jaeger May 26, 2015, 8:19 am

    Police departments can get some great deals from ISIS. Plenty of rifles that have only been dropped once. When you look at Obama and you see his lips moving “He’s Lying”.

  • Mick Dodge May 26, 2015, 7:57 am

    But Howitzers are OK right Barry ?

  • Banenk May 26, 2015, 5:45 am

    Why doesn’t oboma arm the minorities like he did the Mexicans?

  • Milt Farrow May 26, 2015, 5:44 am

    “What a fraud” The Back door is completely opened – “it is insanity to trust the government to be honest-

  • Jay May 26, 2015, 3:15 am

    Frankly, I’m more paranoid about things like that. Suggesting Obama has any motives of well being for ‘the people’ is totally unacceptable to me. Keeping in mind he is first, foremost and always about grabbing and keeping power to the government. (remember, this is the guy who said he felt he should have a personal military force at least equal to the army) I instinctively look for more sinister potential results of any actions he takes or views he supports.
    In this case, I think he is more interested in keeping military equipment further away from the hands of private citizens. Consider that many police officers actually ARE loyal to and interested in protecting the people of their communities. Consider further that, typically, in the event of any citizen uprising, weapons in police custody usually wind up in the hands of the uprisers. Well, the less military stuff the cops have, the less military grade stuff is available for snatching.
    That’s MY point oh-two on this bit of presidential maundering.

    • dink winkerson May 27, 2015, 12:50 pm

      So let me get this straight. The’re gona stop giving them the equipment they have already given them. Glad they cleared that up.

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