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Obama wants review of Pentagon program that put $4.3 BILLION worth of equipment in the hands of American police forces

Barack Obama said Monday that it may be time to review a Pentagon program that has placed billions of dollars worth of surplus military gear and equipment in the hands of local police forces since before he became president.

The U.S. Defense Department has been contributing to the militarization of local police forces since at least 2007, handing over heavy armaments, battle helicopters and armored vehicles for use in urban policing scenarios.

'I think it's probably useful for us to review how the funding was done, how local law enforcement has used grant dollars,' Obama told reporters at the White House, 'to make sure that what they're purchasing is stuff that they actually need.'

'There is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement, and we don't want those lines blurred. That would be contrary to our tradition,' he said.

Last week's armed confrontations between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, where an officer shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old, have ignited a national debate about the militarization of law enforcement agencies.

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