Sheriff Defends Use Of Military Equipment07:42
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A member of the St. Louis County Police Department points his weapon in the direction of a group of protesters in Ferguson, Mo. on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. On Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, a white police officer fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in the St. Louis suburb. (Jeff Roberson/AP)MoreCloseclosemore
A member of the St. Louis County Police Department points his weapon in the direction of a group of protesters in Ferguson, Mo. on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. On Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, a white police officer fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in the St. Louis suburb. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

The images of combat vehicles rolling in to confront demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri, after the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, provoked national debate over police departments receiving military equipment.

Since 2006, the Pentagon’s Excess Property Program has supplied police departments with almost 80,000 assault rifles, more than 600 armored vehicles, and hundreds of millions of dollars-worth of other equipment.

Missouri's Senator Claire McCaskill weighed in on the practice during a Homeland Security Committee hearing this week, calling the militarization of police forces "out of control" and citing police departments in Michigan and Oklahoma.

Those police have since defended their possession of military equipment.

R.B. Hauf, sheriff of Payne County, Oklahoma tells Here & Now's Robin Young how this equipment helps his police force maintain security in dire situations.

Guest

  • R.B. Hauf, sheriff of Payne County, Oklahoma.

This segment aired on September 16, 2014.

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