Canadian police services go easy on military purchases, say cops

A light armoured vehicle the LAV III is pictured in this QMI Agency file photo. (QMI Agency files)

A light armoured vehicle the LAV III is pictured in this QMI Agency file photo. (QMI Agency files)

Jessica Murphy, Senior Washington Correspondent

, Last Updated: 7:56 PM ET

As the United States questions a federal program that funnels surplus military equipment to local police departments, a similar Canadian program has not warranted the same scrutiny.

President Barack Obama has ordered a review of the program following the heavy response by law enforcement to protests in Ferguson, Mo., this August.

In Canada, police departments also have access to surplus military gear through official requests to National Defence (DND), though it doesn't appear to be nearly as popular as the one south of the border, where more than 8,000 police forces have purchased $5.1 billion worth of military gear since 1997. That equipment ranges from exercise equipment to tactical vehicles and M-16 rifles.

"As a rule we don't acquire surplus materiel from DND, as the RCMP has specific needs centred around policing and not military needs," RCMP spokesman David Falls.


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