The Militarization Of Law Enforcement | KCUR

The Militarization Of Law Enforcement

Aug 19, 2014

Among the many images that have emerged from Ferguson, Missouri, perhaps some of the most arresting are those of law enforcement personnel lined up in riot gear, helmets and vests on with batons at the ready.  And right behind them the sight of an officer atop a military-grade armored vehicle holding a sniper rifle.

The Clay County Sheriff's MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle acquired in April from the Department of Defense.
Credit (Peggy Lowe/KCUR)

What does it signify when law enforcement looks more like a military deployment? Steve Kraske talks with KCUR's Peggy Lowe about the acquisition of military equipment by area police and sheriff departments. Then he speaks with a criminal justice professor and a forensic psychologist about the mindset of law enforcement agencies in dealing with situations like those in Ferguson.


  • Peggy Lowe - reporter for KCUR and analyst for Harvest Public Media
  • Ken Novak Ph.D. - Professor and Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice & Criminalogy at UMKC
  • Dr. Daniel Claiborn is a Counseling and Forensic Psychologist with Claiborn and Associates and with Forensic Psychology Associates.