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US Attorney General seeks $15 mln to equip police in wake of shootings

April 15 (Reuters) - In the wake of recent attacks by lone gunmen, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder urged Congress on Tuesday to approve a $15 million funding request to better equip law enforcement and first responders to handle active shooters.

The request, first proposed by President Barack Obama, is now being underscored by Holder after a shooting at Fort Hood military base in Texas left 4 dead earlier this month and another shooting at Jewish centers in Kansas City, Kansas, killed three over the weekend.

The Justice Department announced Monday that it is seeking to bring hate crime charges against the Kansas shooter.

The $15 million the administration is requesting from Congress would go toward bringing local law enforcement officers up-to-date equipment and training.

"In today's world, the first response must often be led not by SWAT teams or specialized police units - but by the very first patrol officers to arrive on the scene," Holder said in his weekly address.

(Reporting by Julia Edwards in Washington; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)