Local police departments who have received surplus military equipment will have to return it under an executive order issued by President Barack Obama.
The order was issued in May following unrest in Ferguson, Missouri and other cities where the equipment was used and people complained that police now appeared to be an occupying force.
"It can alienate and intimidate local residents, and send the wrong message," Obama said at the time. "So we’re going to prohibit some equipment made for the battlefield that is not appropriate for local police departments."
But police chiefs and sheriffs say the equipment is needed to keep officers and the public safe, Fox News reports.
And since it has been supplied by the federal government for free, it is also easy on smaller budgets.
As of October, local agencies now have to return by April 1 any such equipment it has already received.
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