GA agencies given $70 million in military surplus gear - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

GA agencies given $70 million in military surplus gear

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ATLANTA (AP) - According to U.S. Department of Defense records, equipment ranging from an ice cream maker to grenade launchers has been given to Georgia law enforcement and government agencies through a federal military surplus program.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://bit.ly/1xhLCpv) Georgia agencies received more than $70 million in decommissioned military gear, mostly in the last three years.

Robert Friedmann is a criminologist and director of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange. Friedmann says American police are trying to keep pace with weapons criminals are sometimes using against them. However, Friedmann also said there are legitimate questions about how the gear is allocated and how authorities are trained to use it.

Critics of the military surplus program have said local police using advanced equipment can damage fragile relationships with citizens and erode trust.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com

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