WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – For years, old military equipment has been sent to local police departments, but 22News found out how that could all be changing. Federal officials are reconsidering this practice, after the violence and rioting in Ferguson, Missouri.
There, the world saw heavily armed police troops, tear gas and large armored vehicles against protesters in the community. Now, lawmakers are saying that’s a problem that’s not helping keep the peace.
22News called several police stations in western Massachusetts to find out if they have, or use, military equipment. West Springfield Police Chief Ronald Campurciani said they got military grenade launchers in the 1990s but never used them.
“We’ve kept them, because there’s a process of how we would have to turn them back into the military and how they would take them, so they’re in our vault downstairs,” said Chief Campurciani. “They were never used. There really wasn’t…There was a brief period of time when we thought we’d use them.”
Chief Campurciani added that they never even got grenades, only tear gas for the launchers.
Holyoke Police said they didn’t have any military equipment at their department.