Arming the Police

By Karen Knapstein 08.19.2014 blog
Police Shooting Missouri

Over the past ten days, parts of Ferguson, Missouri have looked less like a suburb, and more like a military operation. The community has been dealing with protests, as well as some looting and violence,  after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

And while the sight of police in riot gear is unusual in any community, some are questioning the sight of police using gear and equipment usually associated with soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s because of programs that enabled both the military to provide equipment to state police forces as well as one that funded state and local law enforcement anti-terrorism programs after the attacks on September 11th, 2001.  The gear often includes armored vehicles, helicopters, weapons, protective gear, night vision goggles and even computers and camouflage clothing.

Advocates of the donations and funding argue that the hope is that the equipment won’t be necessary in most cases, but that law enforcement should be well-funded and prepared to protect communities in situations that are difficult to anticipate.

On the other side of the debate, many feel that using military equipment against ordinary citizens is taking it too far.

But what do you think? Should local and state police have access to the same equipment as the military?

Vote in the poll and share your thoughts in the comments below. If you want your response to be used on the show, please include your first name (and only your first name!), age and city and state.



  1. Privet sprinkls500

    I think they should not be aloud because if someone is robing a bank what are they going to do bomb it.

  2. brandons

    i think the police should not have weapons to use in the citizens and the people have a right to say what tell what is wrong and that have a right to to do things to
    to let the people know how they fell.

  3. Kallie

    NO THEY SHOULD NOT!!! They already have weapons!!! They can already hurt people WITHOUT military weapons! THEM, on the other hand, do NOT have weapons, the only reason I can see police using military weapons, in this case, is to scare people so they might stop; NO USING MILITARY WEAPONS ON DEFENCLESS PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kallie

      Well, on the police’s side, they WERE throwing Moltove cocktails at the police. Ya know, it starts as a small fire and then spreads. So… I could go either way.

  4. Angelina M.

    I don’t think the police should have ex-military gear, because a cop that has mental problems could easily get a hold of this equipment and cause big things to happen. They are already taking away our weapons, so we are defenseless, so what is the point of all these new weapons?!

  5. Mary

    Do they really need military equipment ? I mean they’ve already started to take away our guns and stuff. We’re another step closer to absolute communism.

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