Police in Ferguson, Mo. and St. Louis County have been accused in a federal lawsuit of using excessive force and falsely arresting innocent bystanders.
Five plaintiffs claim they were roughed up, or wrongly arrested during protests against the shooting of an unarmed teenager. The Michael Brown response in Ferguson has drawn renewed attention to the military surplus equipment program.
It's known as the Department of Defense 1033 program, which supplies military gear to state and local authorities. The program began in 1997 to assist law enforcement agencies fighting drug trafficking, according to the website. Military surplus equipment also helps agencies with smaller budgets take advantage of bargains.
Law enforcement agencies in Kansas have received M-16s, sniper rifles and grenade launchers through the program.
Sheridan County has two grenade launchers. The sheriff said it has never been used, except for training. It would be used to fire tear gas for a situation similar to barricaded person, according to the sheriff.
Other cities with grenade launchers include Dodge City and Salina.
The Fort Hays State University Police Department received an M-21 sniper rifle, obtained primarily for an active shooter situation. Administrators told Eyewitness News they hope to never have a situation where the weapon would be used.
Departments we talked to said it is important to be prepared when situations do occur.
Since its inception, the 1033 program has transferred more than $5.1 billion worth of property to local agencies across the United States.
To see the complete list for Kansas agencies, click here.