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    Rutledge Commends Trump Administration for Ensuring Law Enforcement have Access to Tools and Equipment

    August 28, 2017

    Executive order restores the full scope of a longstanding program for recycling surplus, lifesaving gear from the Department of Defense

    LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today commended the action of President Donald J. Trump for signing an executive order that restores the full scope of a critical program for recycling surplus, lifesaving gear from the Department of Defense, along with restoring the grants used to purchase this type of equipment from other sources that will directly benefit law enforcement and their mission.

    The gear recycled through this program, which would otherwise be scrapped can be repurposed to help state, local and tribal law enforcement maintain public safety and reduce violent crime.

    “President Trump is once again taking action to assist our local law enforcement officers,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “By repurposing this gear that would otherwise be scrapped and many officers would not otherwise have access to because of limited budgets, law enforcement agencies, including those across Arkansas, will be able to better protect citizens against dangerous gangs and criminals, respond to mass shooting incidents and assist in the event of devastating natural disasters.”

    The President’s executive order today directs all executive branch agencies to cease implementing recommendations issued pursuant to an executive order from the previous administration and to rescind directives, guidelines and polices already implemented subject to that previous order.

    The program, which the Obama administration curtailed, was created by Congress in 1990 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, allowing the military to transfer surplus hardware and equipment to federal and state law enforcement for use in counter-drug activities. Congress expanded the program in 1997 to include all law enforcement agencies and missions. Since then, more than $5.4 billion in surplus gear has been transferred to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies.

    Much of the equipment provided through the program is defensive in nature, such as armored vehicles and military-style clothing, and have been used to protect those responding to terrorist attacks like those in San Bernardino and Orlando.

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