The Mayor has asked the Council to approve spending just over $1 million on new body armor for our Police Department. This is a request from MNPD in the wake of the Dallas police shootings. The new armor would help protect officers from high velocity rounds fired from assault rifles. Officers would not wear the armor at all times, but would have it available for easy access in their vehicles if needed. I am voting in favor of this.
Last week, the Council received several dozen emails asking us to disapprove this measure because it represents a militarization of our police department. That’s not how I see it. I certainly am opposed to the militarization of any police department. But, with the ready availability of powerful assault weapons in the United States, it is an unfortunate reality that our officers run the daily risk of being confronted with military-style rifles. Our officers and their families deserve to have reasonable protection from these weapons.
I will vote in favor of this funding request.