What Trump’s Military Surplus Reversal Means for Michigan Police Departments

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

WDET’s Jake Neher and Michigan Public Radio’s Cheyna Roth say the issue is ‘emblematic’ of a larger conundrum for police

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Police on patrol in Metro DetroitJake Neher/WDET
Jake Neher/WDET

Police on patrol in Metro Detroit

Police departments can once again receive certain surplus equipment from the military.

The Trump administration this week reversed a ban on the practice put in place under President Obama.

WDET’s Jake Neher and Michigan Public Radio’s Cheyna Roth talk about what that means for police departments here in Michigan, and why the ban came about in the first place.

Roth says Michigan police officials tell her they tend to use the practice to obtain things such as cold weather clothing and other protective equipment.

They’re excited about this ban being lifted because now they can have those things without having to take money out of their — let’s face it — not always very generous budgets,” she says.

Click here to see Bridge Magazine’s database of equipment local police departments had obtained from military surplus as of 2015

Neher notes that the issue comes down “in the middle of a huge national conversation about this crossroads that the entire criminal justice system is facing right now,” regarding tough-on-crime attitudes toward criminal justice versus community policing and rehabilitation.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Jake Neher, Producer, Detroit Today

Jake Neher is a producer and reporter for Detroit Today. He has formerly reported on the Michigan legislature.

Jake.Neher@wdet.org Follow @GJNeher

Cheyna Roth, Reporter

Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She’s also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.

CRoth@mlive.com Follow @Cheyna_R

Detroit Journalism Cooperative

This post is a part of Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

The DJC is a partnership of six media outlets focused on telling critical stories of Detroit and creating engagement opportunities on-air, online and in the community. View the partners work at detroitjournalism.org.

Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative and the Ford Foundation.




This post is a part of MichMash.

Each week, WDET's Jake Neher and Michigan Public Radio's Cheyna Roth un-jumble Michigan issues and talk about how statewide news stories affect you. 

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