MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Weaponized vehicles and grenade launchers will no longer be on the supply list from the federal government to local police departments who’ve been getting them for years including those in South Florida.READ MORE: ‘I Have Goose Bumps’: Zoo Miami's Ron Magil On 'Rita' Laying 2nd Egg On Live Bald Eagle Cam
On Monday, President Barack Obama said the federal government is going to stop sending equipment made for the battlefield to state and local police departments.
“Militarized gear can sometimes give people the feeling like there’s an occupying force as opposed to a force that’s a part of the community that’s protecting them and serving them,” said the president.
The president made his announcement in Camden, New Jersey where the crime rate has gone down as officers have changed the way they interact with residents.
“American cops do not need grenade launchers and bayonets to keep us safe,” said Georgetown University Law Professor Paul Butler who is a former federal prosecutor.READ MORE: Boca Raton Man Faces Charges In Fatal Crash That Killed Homestead Mom, Daughter On Thanksgiving Eve
“The shift of seeing police as warriors to seeing police more like guardians is a game changer,” said Butler.
CBS4 News reported last August that South Florida police departments have received millions of dollars-worth of surplus military gear that included hundreds of assault rifles, military grade helicopters and other aircraft and two armored vehicles worth $2.7 million.
Some say the military gear can be useful in counter terrorism and drug enforcement.
“It shouldn’t be given out helter-skelter to every police force that asks for it, but nor should there be a blanket prohibition for it,” said Dr. Steven Bucci of the Heritage Foundation.
The federal government will still provide some equipment under tighter controls like command and control vehicles and drones, proper training and justification that it’s needed.MORE NEWS: Kyle Lowry Scores 19 Points, Heat Beat Bulls 107-104
Despite the ban, local law enforcement agencies can still buy some of the banned equipment from private sellers.