PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - Local police departments across the nation may have access to more military equipment. On Monday President Donald Trump signed an executive order reviving a program that provides local police department with surplus military gear for a low cost.
Videos from protests like this one in Ferguson, Missouri sparked President Obama to prohibit the transfer of large-scale military equipment to local police departments. Now Trump has lifted that order, opening doors for local police to purchase that equipment.
"I think it's good for agencies to be able to obtain government property especially if it fits their needs," said Panama City Beach Captain Richard McClanahan.
Captain McClanahan said once the military is done with equipment or there is a surplus, typically police departments only have to pay 10% of the cost of up to two thousand dollars and they can get the gear.
"It has saved us a lot of money... The military uses everything from office equipment to supplies to vehicles whether they just be regular pickup trucks and cars and that equipment has always been available," said Captain McClanahan.
Panama City Beach Police Department don't plan to purchase any of the large-scale equipment the President is now allowing anytime soon. They do have three military Humvee vehicles and two Humvee trucks as well as a boat for water rescues.
"The Humvee has a snorkel that is attached to the hood that allows the engine to breathe as deep as that snorkel is so it could go up through three, four, five feet of water and still be able to function," said Captain McClanahan.
Some of the equipment that the President is allowing police departments to purchase includes armored vehicles, grenade launchers and high caliber weapons. All of which the Panama City Beach Police Department says are items they don't need.
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