Following increased scrutiny into the perceived militarization of law enforcement in the U.S., a group representing 1,600 SWAT teams is scrambling to keep a Department of Defense surplus gear program intact.

The group, the National Tactical Officers Association, fired off an email to Congressional staffers explaining that the lobbying organization for the nation’s special response teams shared in what they termed “our nation’s grief” over recent events in Ferguson, Missouri.

However, the overall subject of the correspondence was to make the case clear to lawmakers that the NTOA believes the 1033 Program, a Defense Department activity that transfers possession of surplus military gear ranging from old M16s to office machines, should be maintained.

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