Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Ordered To Return Military Weapons

By Steve Shadley
Published: Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 11:54am
Updated: Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 12:07pm
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The U.S. Department of Defense wants the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to return guns and helicopters it donated under a controversial military surplus program.  The request comes after the sheriff’s department lost track of some donated weapons.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he’s happy to turnover a few hundred military style pistols and rifles as well as five helicopters.  Arpaio said nine donated guns were missing but a few have been located with retired deputies. He said the Defense Department wouldn’t want the weapons back if there wasn’t media coverage about the use of military surplus equipment in Missouri after an officer there shot an unarmed man.

“I do know after the St. Louis area situation the talk is out that we should not arm local police with military style equipment. So my answer to them is I have plenty of my own equipment,” Arpaio said.

He said his office is in the process of purchasing a new helicopter to replace the ones that are going back to the defense department. Arpaio has 120 days to return the items including a Hummer and night vision goggles. 


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