Port Chester police chief: Department doesn’t need surplus military supplies

Posted: Updated:

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday that revives a program that provided police departments with surplus military equipment, but not all police departments want them.

In Port Chester, Police Chief Richard Conway says his department serves the village without the need for military supplies.

“I think the technological leaps and bounds within the law enforcement are with technology opposed to equipment.  A Humvee would be hard making it down our streets,” he says.

President Trump wants local departments to have access to the supplies, so he lifted the two-year ban on military gear, including high-caliber weapons and grenade launchers. The program is part of the National Defense Authorization Act, which Congress launched in 1990.

It allowed the Department of Defense to transfer recycled military gear to local law enforcement.

In 2015, the Obama administration enacted a ban, following controversy over "militarization" of the police response to unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. It prohibited items such as armored vehicles and high-caliber weapons - supplies the former president said can intimidate local residents.

Rye residents Phyllis Rothschild says she’s lived in the area for 38 years and it would change the entire nature of the community and many communities around her.

A majority of police departments in Westchester don't use military supplies, but Conway says it could help occasionally.

“A passenger van would be a great thing to have for training and for some of our youth programs. To find a a good conditioned passenger van would be worth putting work into,” he says.

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