Crime & Courts

CMPD’s response to Trump restoring access to military gear? No thanks.

CMPD addresses Trump's expansion of access to military gear

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Local police departments will soon have more access to military and military-style equipment formerly owned by the federal government, thanks to an executive order signed Monday by President Donald Trump.

But the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department does not plan to take advantage of the program, spokesman Rob Tufano said Wednesday.

“I just don’t think that that’s a direction that the organization feels is appropriate – or a right decision for the organization to take at this time,” he said.

Trump’s order revoked a 2015 executive order from former President Barack Obama. The Obama order led to limits on the types of equipment local agencies could acquire from the federal government.

The list of prohibited equipment that resulted from Obama’s executive order included grenade launchers, bayonets and high-caliber weapons.

Tufano said that by the time of the 2015 order, CMPD had already moved away from the program, which was created by Congress in the early 1990s and expanded for fiscal year 1997.

“We participated in that program in the 90s. We no longer participate in that program, so we don’t have, we don’t use, nor are we requesting any of that type of equipment, so it’s inconsequential here,” he said.

Tufano added that CMPD no longer uses any of the equipment it acquired through the program during the 1990s.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions discussed Trump’s order during a speech in Nashville Monday, saying that former military equipment can help police officers safely end active shooter situations.

When Tufano was asked about CMPD’s ability to end active shooter situations on Wednesday, he said CMPD leaders are comfortable with the department’s current level of preparedness.

Jane Wester: 704-358-5128, @janewester

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