Law enforcement officials talk about military weaponry

Boardman police armored truck
An armored truck purchased by Boardman police. H.R. 5478 would limit purchases such as these.

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — The situation in Ferguson, Missouri has some federal officials questioning whether the U.S. government should continue giving surplus military items to local law enforcement agencies.

Local departments spoke on Saturday on what they said could be a big blow.

A $750,000 vehicle owned by Boardman police is used to rescue people from hostage or active shooter situations. They said that it’s something they’d never be able to afford on their own.

In all, their department alone has about a $1 million worth of surplus items, including guns used for training and Humvees, all to keep residents safe.

“You would never see this thing out patrolling the streets. But if you see it out at a scene you have to pretty much realize we would not have the capability to do that type of rescue work without this,” said Chief Jack Nichols of the Boardman Township Police Department. “That’s really what I think law enforcement across the country envision the use for it; more in a rescue type of situation.”

If police departments don’t take the items, they typically get sent to a scrapyard and cut up for scrap metal.

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