Obama Lenco Industries BearCat Watertown Side
The Lenco Industries BearCat on the streets of Watertown in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

President Barack Obama last week limited the amount of military-style equipment that can be acquired by local police department across the country.

While items like grenade launchers were banned altogether, other items — riot helmets, shields and more — would be made available once a department made a valid case for them.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey was one of many to speak out against the ruling from Obama, according to The Morning Call.

Restricting access to those items, which are donated to a local agency when the Department of Defense is not using them, puts the lives of law enforcement officers at greater risk, he wrote.

Joining Toomey was Don Mihalek, legislative director for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

[Mihalek] said while the gear restrictions would not directly affect how federal officers access equipment, it could affect their response capabilities when they assist state or local agencies.

In situations like the Eric Frein manhunt, federal officers coming into a situation rely on the local first responders “to bring the right tools to the problems,” Mihalek said.

Those tools can be expensive, he said, adding that the military surplus program helps fill in what limited police budgets can’t afford.

Read more on MCall.com.

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