|September 9, 2019 02:17 PM
|Representative Dan L. Miller
|All House members
|Law enforcement is a dangerous profession, and our men and women wearing a badge need to be properly paid, supported, trained and equipped. However, since the early 1990s many of our local departments have applied for and received surplus military equipment from the Department of Defense. Such equipment, even used sparingly and only by a few, has often led to a greater distrust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Too many people question the legitimacy of such equipment and whether it is better suited for war zones rather than American neighborhoods.
To this end, I plan to introduce a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to seek and obtain approval through public resolution from their governing body before applying for federal military equipment. It also requires a public hearing before that vote, and for local law enforcement agency’s to provide an annual accounting of the military equipment in their possession and use.
Over 8,000 law enforcement agencies across the country are now possession over $6 billion of military equipment, which includes such items as night-vision goggles, armored vehicles, grenade launchers, and military aircraft. This bill does not prohibit departments from applying for such equipment, but it does require that their civilian elected body deliberate on the needs and usage of such equipment in their community, and how such equipment may or may not impact police/citizen relations.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as HB1906