The president of a law enforcement union in Los Angeles County called Wednesday for an increase in the “militarization” of police as a deterrent to mass shootings.
“The tragic slaughter of 49 innocent club-goers in Orlando underscores the crucial importance of providing police departments and their officers with the equipment they need to save civilian lives and protect themselves,” said George Hofstetter, president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs. ALADS represents more than 8,200 deputy sheriffs and district attorney investigators working in Los Angeles County.
“It should also put to rest the bleeding-heart nonsense that it ‘looks bad’ to have officers suited up in body armor and riot gear and deployed in armored vehicles,” Hofstetter said.
According to Hofstetter, the “militarization” of police became a talking point after police responded to protests and rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, and in Baltimore in recent years.
In some instances, the police used equipment such as armored vehicles that had been provided by the Pentagon after being declared “surplus.”
“Critics questioned whether the responses using such equipment ‘seemed’ heavy-handed and whether the Pentagon should continue providing surplus gear to local police departments for free,” Hofstetter said. “The mass murder in Orlando, San Bernardino, and other incidents where local police had to engage and trade gunfire with heavily armed suspects should put a rest to those criticisms.”
—City News Service
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