Local sheriff departments not concerned with new restrictions

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – An executive order by the president will mean local police agencies would be limited in the type of equipment they can buy and use with federal dollars.

Our Nick Perreault talked to local police about the decision and what it means for each department.

Following an executive order by the president, local law enforcement will no longer be able to use federal funds to purchase; tracked armored vehicles, weaponized Aircraft, firearms of .50 caliber or higher, ammunition of .50 caliber or higher, grenade launchers, bayonets and camouflage uniforms.

“It is armor-ized, so it will prevent any rounds going into the vehicle, so it’s a protective type vehicle,” said Tom Reich Eaton County Sheriff.

Eaton county has an armored vehicle, but not the type of equipment that is on the forbidden list, though Sheriff Tom Reich says some military grade equipment is necessary.

“I would never want to be outgunned, we don’t have any 50 caliber rifles, we don’t have any rocket launchers or anything of that nature, but we do have some rifles,” said Steve Rand Jackson County Sheriff.

A message that echoes from Jackson to Ingham county.

“If people call that an intimidation factor they’re wrong, we don’t pull these into some scene to intimidate somebody, they’re taken to a scene to make it safer for the officers,” said Gene Wriggelsworth Ingham County Sheriff.

Ingham county has a long list worth thousands of dollars in equipment, from robots to shields and armored vehicles. They’ve received those through homeland security grants.

While Sheriff Gene Wrigglesworth says it would be hard to fund out-of-pocket, but isn’t worried about these latest cuts.

“That’s not of concern to me because we didn’t get it anyhow.”

Eaton and Jackson say they’re not worried either as none or little is paid with federal dollars, but Sheriff Wriggelsworth says they’ll work with what federal dollars they can to protect the citizens and police that keep them safe.

In addition to the restrictions set by the president’s order, those agencies who currently have the style of equipment can still use them.

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