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Missouri senator seeks reforms for police military equipment

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Two Democratic members of Missouri’s congressional delegation are seeking to reform federal programs that provide military equipment to police, responding to allegations that local law enforcement overreached by using armored vehicles and high-caliber weapons during Ferguson protests.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill introduced the Protecting Communities and Police Act on Thursday, and U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay plans to propose a companion version next week. It would create a task force to determine what sort of equipment is suitable for police and what should be prohibited.

The bill would not reduce funding but would formalize training for use of surplus military equipment and other equipment obtained by police agencies. It would prevent police from obtaining an armored vehicle known as a MRAP, though it would allow other kinds of armored vehicles.