How Police Departments Became Militarized

This Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, or MRAP, was obtained by the Clay County Sheriff's Department in April. Because of it's size, it's housed at the county's highway department, where snow plows and large mowers are parked. (Peggy Lowe/KCUR)

President Obama has ordered a review of all federal programs that supply local law enforcement agencies with military weapons and equipment. That comes after images from Ferguson showed urban police in full combat gear and armored tanks in the streets. Some were calling it “Fergustan.”

The militarization of local police departments can be traced to two major sources – federal Homeland Security grants and the Defense Department’s 1033 Program — part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 1990.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Peggy Lowe of KCUR reports on what some communities near Kansas City are doing with their equipment.


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