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Why Do Sacramento Law Enforcement Agencies Need Military Equipment?

 
Why Do Sacramento Law Enforcement Agencies Need Military Equipment?
Posted August 21st, 2014 @ 8:54am by KFBK News - Joe Michaels

It was revealed during the Ferguson protests that law enforcement agencies across the nation get military gear from a free Defense Department program.  

Some of that equipment has made its way to Sacramento County. So, what do local departments have, and how are they using it?

Sacramento County authorities have received nearly 800 assault rifles, 37 night vision pieces and 17 helicopters.  

Lt. Michael Jones says some of those items are now being utilized by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

"Most that equipment, is all equipment that has been quite necessary to complete our mission, and for all intents and purposes would have been far outside of our budgets," Jones said. 

The Sheriff's Tactical Commander in charge of special operations says the items increase the safety of officers, which increases the safety of citizens.

"By having these rifles, we're able to basically match the current fire power that's out on the streets with a lot of the gang activity and a lot of the suspects," he said. 

The Sacramento Police Department, meanwhile, has a very limited number of supplies.

"We deploy this equipment in situations that dictate that we do. So, for example, if we have an armed, barricaded subject or a violent individual," Officer Doug Morse said. 

Morse says, among other things, the program has provided Sacramento Police with a helicopter for air searches.  

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