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Obama bans school cops from receiving federal military weapons

LA School Report | June 1, 2015



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By Molly Knefel

Last week, President Obama issued an executive order to regulate the use of military equipment within local police departments, as part of an ongoing effort to address police violence in communities of color. Images of officers rolling through the streets of Ferguson – and, more recently, Baltimore – in armored tanks pushed the issue of police militarization into the national spotlight.

But it’s not just police departments that have been outfitted with military weapons. Through the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, created in 1997, K-12 school districts across the country have received equipment like mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles, grenade launchers, assault rifles and an outfitted SWAT team. One district in Utah alone received a dozen AR-15s, the weapon notoriously used in the Sandy Hook school shooting.

The president’s new rules restrict how law enforcement agencies can acquire certain equipment. However, the rules specify that departments “solely serving schools ranging from kindergarten through grade 12” are now excluded – they can no longer receive military-grade equipment through the 1033 program

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