In an effort to demilitarize police forces across America, the White House banned agencies from using military-style equipment. Because of this ban, 11 Florida law-enforcement agencies are now required to return tanks received by way of a surplus program that supplied law enforcement agencies with military equipment.

Many sheriffs are beating the fear drum, saying that the return order could be deadly. “For some agencies, this is all they can afford,” said Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson, “leaving their people on potential suicide missions.” Johnson did note, however, that his department doesn’t use the tank everyday.

Despite this fact, he still maintains that “people will die because of this decision.” He added that the order is “taking a valuable piece of equipment out of our fleet.” These tanks don’t have mounted guns, but are still heavily-armored military vehicles.

Instances when police agencies actually need a military tank are very scarce. Much of the handed down military equipment is outdated, if it’s even operational. It boils down to police departments being upset that their toys are being taken away.

For more on this story, visit the Orlando SentinelObama’s tank take-back ticks off some Florida law officers”

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Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He also hosts the weekly DeSmogCAST and serves as co-host for Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced