- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) - New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has ordered the police department to hold off buying riot gear to avoid a “military-like escalation” of law enforcement.

Acting Police Chief Peter Reichard asked the City Council last week for permission to use $28,000 to equip officers with shields, helmets and gas masks.

The Day of New London reports (http://bit.ly/1xaSaUy ) that Finizio said some members of the public have said the purchase request signals a “military-like escalation” by law enforcement. He also cited concerns by the police union about spending priorities.

Finizio on Sunday defended the Police Department’s request, citing security threats over the years. However, he said the timing of the request was unfortunate.

Critics have questioned why police in body armor and riding in armored vehicles needed to disperse demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri.

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Information from: The Day, http://www.theday.com

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