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Do Police in Pennsylvania Really Need Military-Grade Equipment?

These days, it’s not uncommon to see a normal police officer dressed and armed like a soldier. The use of military gear by police departments across the Keystone State has become so common that the average person merely accepts it. From armored cars to military-grade rifles and body armor, police have been upgrading their standard equipment with military gear for many years now. But is it really justified? Does this create a higher potential for excessive force?

If you have been the victim of excessive force or any other type of police misconduct, you can file a lawsuit against those responsible. Get in touch with a qualified attorney in Pennsylvania, and you can hold officers accountable for their misconduct. You can also receive a substantial settlement that covers and medical expenses or missed wages you might have incurred due to your injuries.

How Much Military Gear Do Pennsylvania Police Receive?

A 2020 report stated that police in Pennsylvania had received more than $6 million worth of military surplus gear since 2018. This is all due to the federal military surplus 1033 program that lets local agencies collect all kinds of gear for very minimal fees. Although this gear is often considered obsolete by military officials, it clearly goes beyond what you would expect to find in an average police department.

Armored vehicles are especially popular among police departments in the United States, including those in Pennsylvania. In a recent report, information obtained under a FOIA request revealed that the sheriff of Beaver County had been pushing for more armored vehicles. While asking for these vehicles under the 1033 program, he stated: “Deputies and police officers die every day performing routine assignments. It is always better to have protection and not need it than to have none while in need.”

Critics immediately pointed out that these armored cars are not supposed to be used during “routine assignments.” Their use is only justified in cases of serious emergencies, such as mass shootings. Some of these vehicles are even impervious to landmines. Why would the police need something like that?

New Bill Would Ban Police From Wearing Military Fatigues

At least one lawmaker in Pennsylvania is trying to address the militarization of police in the Keystone State, although he is admittedly starting small. Representative Brian Sims has introduced a bill that would prevent police officers from wearing military fatigues while working. But this only addresses the appearance of officers, and not their armament.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the Pennsylvania area for a qualified, experienced attorney who can help with your police brutality lawsuit, there are many options available. These legal professionals are passionate about helping people fight back against misconduct by police departments who are supposed to be protecting us. The prevalence of military gear is only one symptom of a much larger problem. Lawsuits may be one of the few ways to encourage real change, so book your consultation today.