Alabama Sheriff Larry Amerson isn’t happy that the federal government is taking away his tank.
“Today is a sad and frustrating day for us here at the sheriff’s office,” he told the AP.
In January, President Obama issued an order to demilitarize local police units. That meant that the government would soon be reclaiming dozens of military tools, such as tanks and grenade launchers.
Calhoun County, where Amerson is sheriff,
was the latest to have its somewhat out-of-place tank taken away.
“The federal government, the US military, is withdrawing a piece of equipment that we found extremely valuable for our purposes, and that is a tracked armoured vehicle,” Amerson said. “Those vehicles are defensive in nature. They have no offensive capability.”
He said the idea that local police having tanks is dangerous is completely misguided, adding that his constituents were big fans of the tank.
“Almost every week we had requests to take this vehicle to public events, to lead the Cancer Society cancer walk,” he said.
His department only used it twice for actual police work, he said.
Story by Allan Smith and editing by Stephen Parkhurst
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