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The Militarization Of Law Enforcement

(Peggy Lowe/KCUR)

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.

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.


When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.