Police equipping high-powered military tools

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) -- Equipment once used by the military on battlefields -- such as armored vehicles, sniper rifles and bomb detecting robots -- is now being deployed by local law enforcement.

Millions in Homeland Security funds have gone to police agencies in Tennessee and Virginia to purchase radios and computers, but also high tech hardware considered surplus from the military is being funneled to local agencies at virtually no cost.

The Bristol, Va., Police Department obtained a nearly $300,000 armored vehicle called a BearCat and the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office in Tennessee got more than a dozen M-14 rifles from the military.

Sullivan County Sheriff's Office Capt. Jeff Cassidy told The Bristol Herald Courier that Homeland Security grants have been vital during the economic recession and flat budgets.

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