Bannock County (Idaho) Sheriff Lorin Neilson says his tracked armored vehicle was taken by the government this past December. It wasn’t really “his” M113, but was one of the armored vehicles provided by the U.S. Government to law enforcement agencies through past “lend-lease” programs.
These programs all changed this past May when President Obama limited the transfer of military equipment to law enforcement through an executive order (13688) following protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Obama said the presence of military-style vehicles and equipment can “alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message.”
“So we’re going to prohibit some equipment made for the battlefield that is not appropriate for local police departments,” Obama said. Along with the tracked armored vehicles and “weaponized vehicles of any kind,” the list of prohibited military equipment includes grenade launchers, .50 caliber weapons and ammo, bayonets, and some camouflaged military clothing.
The Bancock County Sheriff’s Department also owns a Bearcat armored vehicle. Because it was purchased with funds it raised by the Department, it is not subject to government reclamation through the auspices of Executive Order 13688.
To read the recommendations made in Executive Order 13688, click below.