Should Valley officers have war weapons at hand?

PHOENIX - The police shooting of a teenage boy in Ferguson, Missouri is making many wonder about the militarization of local police agencies. 

Ferguson officers were seen riding around in armored trucks, wearing Kevlar vests and helmets and carrying what appeared to be rifles used by military personnel.

Since the 1990s, the Department of Defense has given local law enforcement agencies across the country used military equipment and weapons, once used in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, for free. 

Sheriff Joe Arpaio says his office has received a lot of this equipment over the past few years including binoculars, helicopters, armored trucks, .50 caliber machine gun (capable of shooting through buildings on multiple city blocks) and much more. 

Arpaio says he doesn't know whether he would use any of the military weapons, like the ones used in Ferguson. However, he said he wants to be able to protect his officers. 

So far in Phoenix alone, there've been 38 officer-involved shootings in 2014. 

Critics worry military equipment and weapons only make an already tense situation worse. 

To see a full list of military equipment acquired by law enforcement in Arizona read the ACLU report .

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