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Minnesota Police: Military Gear Is Misunderstood

August 24, 2014, 2:12 PM

ST. PAUL, MN -

Minnesota law enforcement agencies have nearly $10 million in military surplus equipment, including about 3,300 weapons and 40 pairs of night-vision goggles.

The amount worries some who fear police are becoming too militarized. But law enforcement agencies say the gear is misunderstood, and gives police departments important tools that some couldn't afford.

Andy Skoogman is executive director of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association. He says police chiefs are saying the gear is important, and isn't used in a traditional military fashion.

But some say the equipment shows a change in how police operate. Chuck Samuelson of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota says police are starting to use tactics designed for the battlefield.

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