A provision being added to the state budget would require more oversight of how police use military vehicles and other equipment.
Many local police forces have been obtaining military equipment, such as armored vehicles, through a federal program. State Representative Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield), an Iraq war veteran, worries about how and where it’s being used though. He cited “concerns with militarization of our police force” in backing a state budget provision that would require a state or local entity to review any police department request to purchase or receive military equipment.
The provision does not specify what agency would handle the reviews.
The measure was unanimously approved Friday by the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. It would also require there to be clear policies set for the use of military equipment by police, along with regular reports on when it has been used by departments. The Brookfield Republican said the move is an opportunity to have a conversation about the appropriate use of that equipment.