Trump gives greenlight for US police to use military gear

Trump’s order will give access to police agencies to camouflage uniforms, bulletproof vests, riot shields, high caliber firearms, ammunition and other items.

:: The US administration will provide police departments with access to military equipment such as high-caliber weapons and grenade launchers.

The decision by President Donald Trump was delivered to roaring applause Monday at a national convention of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the cheering crowd that the plan will “ensure that you can get the lifesaving gear that you need to do your job and send a strong message that we will not allow criminal activity, violence, and lawlessness to become a new normal,”

Trump plans to sign an order undoing Obama-era limitations on police agencies’ access to camouflage uniforms, bulletproof vests, riot shields, firearms, ammunition and other items.

The changes are another way in which Trump and Sessions are enacting a law-and-order agenda that sees federal support of local police as key to driving down violent crime.

However, groups across the political spectrum expressed concern about the militarization of police, arguing that the equipment encourages and escalates confrontations with officers. But many law enforcement agencies and policing organizations see it as needed to ensure officers aren’t put in danger when responding to active shooter calls and terrorist attacks. An armored vehicle played a key role in the police response to the December 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

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