UPDATED 3:35 PM PT – Tuesday, March 9, 2021
House Democrats are set to reintroduce a measure which would seek to limit the transfer of military gear to local law enforcement.
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) unveiled the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act on Tuesday.
Today, I re-introduced the bipartisan Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act (SMLEA) to rein in DOD transfers of excess military weapons to local law enforcement. Too often our communities are policed w/ a warrior mentality not protect & serve. https://t.co/HI0drXGktc pic.twitter.com/HJS4QLNFG4
— Rep. Hank Johnson (@RepHankJohnson) March 9, 2021
If passed, the bill would restrict the 1033 Program, which allows the Pentagon to pass down excess military grade equipment to police departments.
In a statement, the Georgia Democrat claimed “America’s founding fathers opposed blurring the line between police and the military.”
However, law enforcement officials said the program helps them to do their job more efficiently and at low cost.
“It allows us to get some of the things that we need without having to pay for it out of our budget,” Sheriff Jack Smith of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department said.
The bill was also introduced last summer at the height of anti-police riots and calls for defunding the police.