LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The Clark County Sheriff says President Obama is putting his officers in jeopardy and taking away tools needed to fight terrorism.
It’s called an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), and it’s similar to the one that surrounded the suspects’ SUV during the bloody shootout that ended the San Bernardino massacre yesterday. Clark County deputies got one of the $150,000 vehicles on loan through a surplus program from the Department of Defense, but last week, Sheriff Jamey Noel says they had to send it back at the orders of President Obama.
“Yeah, I was pretty frustrated when I was watching the news and seeing this unfold,” Noel said after learning 14 were killed in Wednesday’s attack. “What’s going through my mind is, if this situation happened today in Clark County we’re without that tool that we need.”
He said with an APC, “If you have an active shooter situation — or an officer down in an active shooter situation — then we can drive up and the bad guy can be shooting the entire time and the officers are going to be protected.”
The recall follows the fallout in Ferguson, Missouri, where critics say the response of law enforcement contributed to riots. The concern: equipment made for war zones intimidates the public.
“We’re going to prohibit some equipment that is made for the battlefield that is not appropriate for the local police department,” President Obama said during a press conference.
Sheriff Noel posted his frustration to Facebook.
“Do I risk driving up knowing I’m going to get shot to extract that wounded officer, or wounded civilian or victim?” he asked. “That’ s what’s going to happen right now.”
The post put him under fire from some. One Facebook response stated, “…The police are not a military force and should not be equipped as one.”
“Was it every used?” WDRB’s Gilbert Corsey asked.
“Not in an active shooter situation, no,” Noel said. “It was used for training.”
They’re training for the worst, because sometimes it happens.
“I hope it never happens here, but we know that it does happen, and it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” Noel said.
Noel is the chairman of the Republican Party in Clark County.
A Change.org petition asking the White House to reverse course on this military equipment has more than 2,000 signatures.