WASHINGTON—Saying the initiative could provide significant savings for cash-strapped police departments nationwide, a report released Tuesday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that the Trump administration’s plan to supply local law enforcement with high-powered military weapons would greatly lower the costs incurred from shooting suspects multiple times. “A single discharge from a grenade launcher can do the work that would have previously required an officer to fire 15 or more times at a potential criminal, which is great for departments’ bottom lines,” said lead researcher Grant Sherman, noting that access to an array of surplus Pentagon equipment and firearms would allow police to conserve pricey ammunition when encountering individuals matching the descriptions of burglary perpetrators, responding to reports of minors holding unknown objects, or during routine traffic stops. “No longer will law enforcement have to foot the substantial cost of having five or six responding officers unload their entire clips into a suspicious looking individual on the street when they can instead fire one shell from the roof-mounted cannon of an armored truck. In sum, we expect police forces in the U.S. to save tens of millions of dollars annually.” Sherman added that state and federal corrections departments should also see considerable savings from the initiative, noting that expensive overcrowding would likely abate due to significantly higher and more cost-effective suspect fatality rates.
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