City officials’ views must be included in discussion on police equipment
The following statement is from Clarence Anthony, CEO of the National League of Cities, regarding Tuesday’s hearing by the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee on the Oversight of Federal Programs for Equipping State and Local Law Enforcement.
“It is imperative that as Congress begins a review of the program, that city officials are included in the discussion to provide on-the-ground perspective about the impact, use and rational for the equipment. City officials, in their role as community leaders, can best relate the local need for this equipment.
“Congress must keep in mind that much of the equipment is non-military and helps to defray costs for cash strapped municipalities. This equipment has been used to respond to emergencies as the Boston Marathon bombing and school shootings, allowed police to safely arrest heavily armed drug cartel members, and to assure the safety of the public.
“It is always in good public interest to pause and look at the effectiveness and need for governmental programs. The Department of Defense’s Excess Property Program provides much needed equipment to local law enforcement to deal with real threats that police encounter everyday.”
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.