Gov. Christie signs tighter controls for surplus military gear

Gov. Christie has signed a bill providing tighter controls for surplus military gear given to law enforcement.

Gov. Christie has signed a bill providing tighter controls for surplus military gear given to law enforcement. (3/16/15)

TRENTON - (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie has signed legislation that adds oversight to a federal program that sends surplus military equipment to local police departments.

The law signed Monday will require local governments to sign off when county or municipal law enforcement agencies try to acquire equipment through the Department of Defense's 1033 Program.

The local use of military-grade vehicles and weapons came under scrutiny following protests in Ferguson, Missouri last year.

But the governor returned a bill that would have required the Attorney General to personally sign off on every piece of equipment obtained through the program. He said that would have been too big a burden.

Gov. Christie says state police have reviewed about 2,000 transfer requests for over 17,000 pieces of equipment during the last federal fiscal year.

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