"Washington (CNN)The Trump administration will unveil a new plan Monday to roll back limits on a controversial program that provides local law enforcement agencies with surplus military gear, marking the end of a policy implemented during the Obama administration.
President Barack Obama issued an executive order in 2015 prohibiting the transfer of a host of equipment, including armored vehicles, grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and camouflage uniforms following controversy over the "militarization" of the police response to unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.
"We've seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there's an occupying force as opposed to a force that's part of the community that's protecting them and serving them," Obama said at the time. "It can alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message."
President Donald Trump will sign a new executive order Monday rescinding Obama's directive and Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed the policy change during a speech at the annual conference of the Fraternal Order of Police in Nashville, Tennessee, where he received multiple standing ovations and appeared touched by the warm welcome.
"(W)e are fighting a multi-front battle: an increase in violent crime, a rise in vicious gangs, an opioid epidemic, threats from terrorism, combined with a culture in which family and discipline seem to be eroding further and a disturbing disrespect for the rule of law," Sessions said, as he walked the audience of mostly law enforcement officials through a broad tour of his policy changes at the Justice Department over the past several months.
"The executive order the President will sign today will ensure that you can get the lifesaving gear that you need to do your job and send a strong message that we will not allow criminal activity, violence and lawlessness to become a new normal," Sessions added.
Trump's new executive order was first reported by USA Today.
Civil rights groups swiftly blasted the equipment policy shift Monday, saying the Obama-era guidelines were critical to rebuilding trust with communities of color.
Read STATE: Ferguson, affected."