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Thursday, September 04, 2014

State to Review CT Police Use of Military Equipment

By Ann Radalet

www.ctmirror.org

Washington -– Connecticut’s police chiefs assured the state’s U.S. senators that the abuses of police authority that occurred in Ferguson, Mo., would likely not happen in Connecticut. But it’s likely Connecticut cops’ use of military equipment to fight crime is soon coming under review.

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One of two Humvees Westport Police received as military surplus. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Images of Ferguson police using war-fighting equipment to threaten those who protested the police killing of a black youth last month sparked a debate in Washington over the future of a Pentagon program that donates surplus equipment to the nation’s cops.

Mike Lawlor, Connecticut Undersecretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning, said a divided Congress may not be able to agree on reforms of the “1033 program,” that has provided military assault rifles, grenade launchers, night vision equipment, mine resistant and armored vehicles and even a helicopters to Connecticut police departments

So the Malloy administration may also look at placing restrictions on the program or persuading Connecticut police to voluntarily place curbs on the acquisition and use of military equipment, Lawlor said.

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