Obama To Limit Police Acquisition Of Some Military-Style Equipment
Updated at 6:21 p.m. ET
President Obama said military-style equipment used by police departments "can alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message," as he ended federal transfers of such weapons to local law enforcement.
Obama's remarks, made in Camden, N.J., are an attempt to ease tensions between police and minority communities in the wake of several high-profile police-involved shootings.
Under new recommendations, police forces will be banned from acquiring some types of military-style equipment from federal agencies. The proposal was one of several made by a White House task force that Obama is putting into place using an executive order on Monday.
According to a report issued by the White House, the task force recommended banning the sale of some equipment — such as tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and high-caliber weapons and ammunition — after weighing their utility to local police and the "the potential negative impact on the community if the equipment was used arbitrarily or inappropriately."
Local police departments can still buy this equipment on their own. They just can't buy them from the feds or buy them using federal money.
"Obama's visit to one of New Jersey's poorest cities comes as he seeks to ramp up federal funding for community policing initiatives in the wake of a series of high-profile incidents that have frayed trust between officers and residents in Ferguson, Mo., New York and Baltimore, among other cities.
"Camden has long been among New Jersey's most crime-ridden cities, but reforms over the past two years have led to falling crime statistics and an increased number of officers in the community."
Based on a fact sheet distributed by the White House, here are a few other initiatives Obama will highlight Monday:
-- Police Data Initiative will help police departments across the country track things like use of force and police stops. Data scientists will help some police departments polish an early warning system, using data to flag problems.
-- Twenty-one jurisdictions will also release big data sets that will help "communities gain visibility into key information on police/citizen encounters."
-- The White House will release a body-cam tool kit that will help police plan and implement body-cam programs.
-- The Department of Justice "will begin taking applications for grants designed to advance the practice of community policing in law enforcement agencies through hiring, training and technical assistance, the development of innovative community policing strategies, applied research, guidebooks, and best practices that are national in scope."
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