Troubled by images of heavily armed police facing off protesters in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama is ordering a review of federal programs that help law enforcement agencies buy military equipment.
Obama wants to know whether the programs are “appropriate” for local policing and whether police are given the training and guidance needed to use military-grade equipment properly, a senior administration official said Saturday.
The review, to be led by White House staff, will also look into whether the federal government is sufficiently auditing the use of the equipment it helps facilitate, according to the official, who requested anonymity to discuss the president’s in-house directive.
The federal government has been helping police purchase military equipment for more than 10 years, ever since the events of Sept. 11, 2001, raised concerns about police readiness for a serious attack. Through grant programs and transfers from the military, the U.S. government has helped make the gear available to law enforcement agencies across the nation that have asked for it.
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