Speed Reads


ACLU asks why this small-town police force gets two grenade launchers

"West Springfield police have two grenade launchers — why?"

That's the question the ACLU of Massachusetts posed in a Facebook post advertising its recently released annual report. The West Springfield Police Department currently has two M79 grenade launchers as well as seven M14 rifles, thanks to a Department of Defense excess property program. The department obtained the grenade launchers and rifles in the late 1990s at no cost.

Police Chief Ronald P. Campurciani told Mass Live that the grenade launchers have never been used, and they won't ever be, because their technology is now so "antiquated." "I cannot think of a scenario where we would employ those weapons," Campurciani said.

If the department doesn't plan to use the grenade launchers, though, the ACLU's question is perhaps even more valid. After all, is there really a need for a small town's police department to keep such dangerous weapons?