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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Legislator Wants To Ban The Militarization Of Police In Montana

Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer (R) HD 14
Montana Legislature

Wednesday, Montana legislators heard a bill that would ban the militarization of police forces in the state. The bill comes after police in Ferguson, Missouri were scrutinized for using armored vehicles and heavy weaponry bought from the federal surplus.

Nicholas Schwaderer is sponsoring House Bill 330 and says he wants to make sure that problem doesn’t come to Montana.

“What this seeks to prevent are things such as armored drones, armored aircraft that’s combat enabled, tanks and grenade launchers and other types of grenades and other equipment.”

Another part of the bill would ensure the items police do acquire are listed for the public and are listed online. Colonel Tom Butler, Chief of the Montana Highway Patrol, says this causes problems.

“There are some procedural requirements in the bill, as far as his notice to the public ... that don’t match up with the timeliness that law enforcement agencies have to go through to acquire the equipment.”

 No immediate action was taken on the bill.

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