[guest post by Dana]
In a continuing effort to make law enforcement officers more “user-friendly” to certain communities and help ease tensions, President Obama has announced several impending changes as part of an executive order:
The Obama administration on Monday moved to prohibit federal agencies from providing local cops with certain kinds of military equipment such as grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and bayonets, in the wake of controversy over a “militarized” police response to unrest last summer in Ferguson, Missouri.
“We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there’s an occupying force as opposed to a force that’s part of the community that’s protecting them and serving them,” Obama said in Camden Monday. “It can alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message.”
The list of prohibited equipment includes: tank-like armored vehicles that move on tracks, certain types of camouflage uniforms, bayonets, firearms and ammunition of .50 caliber or higher, grenade launchers, and weaponized aircraft.
However, there will be some leeway as local police will still be able to buy the equipment from private sellers.
Along with the ban on various equipment, the president also wants to “soften” the look of police officers on the street.
According to Fox News reporter Brian Kilmeade:
…Obama also thinks that police officers should have “softer looking” uniforms.
Kilmeade explained that Obama thinks that police officers are “making things worse” when they show up to inner city communities wearing military-style equipment and riot gear.
“They’re concerned about the helmet. They’re concerned about the shield. It’s sending the wrong message,” Kilmeade stated. “I used to think from the civilian point of view that that would be a reason not to riot, because the police were ready and ready to act.”
Better that citizens not be offended by the sight of police officers wearing gear specifically designed to protect them and potentially save their lives – from the very people who might be offended by it. Message received.