The Trump administration has finally granted the police forces access to surplus equipment of the US military. Former US President Barack Obama imposed the restrictions on using these Military Weapons by the police. But now, it has been restored by President Donald Trump.

Improving public security

The White House already released the executive order, providing police with top-quality bullet-proof, as well as armored vehicles, and other high-powered military weapons. The Washington Post reports that President Donald Trump’s objective is to improve public safety through advanced military weapons, according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Why Obama banned the police to use military weapons

The unrest that took place in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 led the Obama administration to bar the police from using certain types of high-powered military weapons and equipment. The Ferguson incident involved a police officer who took down an unarmed black teenager with the use of a military weapon. The police who were deployed in the Missouri protests were said to be too heavy handed.

Former President Barrack Obama put great consideration on the public image of the police. He said that images of militarized police on the streets would earn negative feedback from the American people. People must perceive the police as community members rather than a threatening occupying force, according to the former president.

However, there are those who disagreed with Obama’s move. People, like Attorney General Sessions, believed that the former president went too far with his restrictions. He argued that such restrictions might risk public safety. "We will not put superficial concerns above public safety," Mr Session said in a meeting of police officers.

According to Mr Sessions, President Trump’s executive order to restore surplus military equipment scheme can guarantee the police the necessary gear to save their lives while performing their duty. He added that the police should never let lawlessness, violence, and criminal activity to be considered as ‘the new normal’.

Trump’s executive order seeks to overturn the rules on the transfer of surplus military equipment, which was imposed in the Obama administration.

Nevertheless, some Republicans in Congress as well as civil rights group strongly criticized the executive order.

Republican Senator Rand Paul will push forward a legislation that ensures transparency concerning the ‘transfer of surplus military equipment’. He argued that the police, being one of the government’s law enforcement agencies, should never posses equipment that are otherwise banned.