« School Police Get Military Weapons, Vehicles, Equipment From Federal Agency | Main | San Diego School District to Return Armored Vehicle to Defense Department »

School Police in Los Angeles Will Give Up Grenade Launchers

| No comments

The Los Angeles Unified School District's police department will give back three grenade launchers it received through a U.S. Department of Defense program that channels surplus military supplies to local police agencies, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

But school police there plan to keep other supplies received from the federal agency—61 rifles and a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (or MRAP) vehicle, the paper reported:

"L.A. Unified says that the M-16 automatic rifles, which were modified to semiautomatic since they were acquired in 2001, are 'essential life-saving items' and will continue to be available to trained officers. The armored vehicle will be used only under extraordinary circumstances, officials said." 

As I wrote Monday, civil rights groups have raised concerns about school systems receiving supplies from the Defense Department's 1033 program, saying tactical gear, military style equipment, and body armor would only increase concerns about how school police interact with students and how the presence of law enforcement affects school climate issues. Using media accounts, those groups identified at least 22 districts that have received surplus supplies through the program.

The 1033 program drew scrutiny after local police used surplus equipment and vehicles to confront protestors in Ferguson, Mo., last month following a police shooting of unarmed 19-year-old Michael Brown.

Other schools defended their acquisition of surplus gear in the Times story. School police in Oakland said they use a remodeled "tactical utility truck" as "an attraction at school events and parades," the paper reported.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments