MCSO to return US military surplus equipment soon

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX (AP) -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says his deputies now have accounted for some weapons the agency received from a federal program years ago and will return them within 120 days.

The federal government dropped the sheriff's office from the program that funnels surplus military equipment to police departments because the agency couldn't account for eight handguns and one rifle.

At a news conference Tuesday, the sheriff's office had on display the older military equipment including rifles, handguns and night-vision goggles.

Arpaio says his office has plenty of firepower it got through other means and won't miss the military surplus equipment.

The federal program began in 1990 as a way to help states and local agencies fight drug-related crime and expanded in the mid-1990s.