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OK Police Departments Impacted By Federal Ban On Military Supplies

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New meets old when the Guthrie Police Department drives its mine-resistant vehicle or MRAP down the town's main drag. New meets old when the Guthrie Police Department drives its mine-resistant vehicle or MRAP down the town's main drag.
GUTHRIE, Oklahoma -

Last August, Missouri police appeared to be dressed for battle to push back protestors. This sparked debate on the militarization of local police. Then on Monday, President Barack Obama issued an executive order banning the sale of military supplies to local departments. 

Obama's new plan to de-militarize local police departments now prevents the sale of former military items, like grenade launchers, camouflage uniforms or even bayonets. And that includes a vehicle that the Guthrie Police Department purchased last spring.

New meets old when the Guthrie Police Department drives its mine-resistant vehicle or MRAP down the town's main drag.

“Really you can think of it as a giant bulletproof vest on wheels,” said Sgt. Jeremy Thorne with the Guthrie Police Department.

Guthrie PD purchased it for the department's tactical team and to help during natural disasters.

“The military originally paid $700,000 for this piece of equipment. We were able to acquire it for just $2,000,” he said.

Police in Ferguson, Mo. used armored vehicles and military-grade body armor to respond to riots and protests last August. Then on Sunday, armored vehicles lined the perimeter of the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas following a deadly biker shooting.

“The practical uses far outweigh anything negative you're seeing in the media right now,” said Thorne. “It's going to be a travesty for departments across the nation you know that aren't going to be able to utilize these to protect their citizens.”

The Guthrie police department says they really didn't have any immediate plans to purchase another one of these MRAPs, but with Obama's movement to de-militarize police departments, they'll never have that option.

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