Should police have military-style weapons on the streets of Memphis?

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Law enforcement brought out military-style weapons and vehicles in the streets of Ferguson, Mo.

Tanks and other machines are making their way to precincts across the country, but some say they don't belong on the streets of Memphis. However, emergency responders say they need them because the criminals have better weapons than they do.

Others say these machines cause the violence to escalate.

David Fox, a Vietnam veteran,said, "Ordinary people don't need to see that."

These machines are showing up in communities across the country, including here in Memphis.

Bob Nations works with Shelby County Office of Preparedness.

He said, "We can be outgunned on the streets very easily and when you are outgunned, you have very serious consequences."

Nations is in charge of helping different departments get access to the machines and weapons being stored throughout the region.

In 2006, the Germantown Police Department purchased an armored vehicle called a Bearcat. We asked them how often it's used, but police couldn't tell us. The department said it gets used in stand-offs and possible riot situations to protect people and police.

Nations said, "As the dynamics change, you have to tool up."

But even ex-military members question the need for them on the streets. Fox says he thinks these machines can cause people to panic.

"Normal people don't need to be coming home from work seeing tanks and things like that," he said.


  • John

    Everyone feels better when they see police with armored vehicles on the street than thugs with AK-47’s on the street…. Unless you’re that thug with the AK or a thugghugg’n loot’n racist supporter

  • 38104

    wow here we come military police state…. the police just murdered a kid but sure lets give them tanks… apparently I’m the only one against this on this site… oh well, I had to speak up for the opposition.

    • acommonsenses

      You are not the only one, 80% of the police force only have a HS diploma or GED and these ppl want to put tanks and assult rifles in their hands.

  • Macroni

    H-E-double hockey sticks yea…. Whatever it takes, i want my kids to feel safe, and grow up understanding the importance of rules and discretion. It’s not what you do it’s how you do it…

  • Jon

    When the underworld out powers law enforcement then we do have problems. If its available then yes they should have every advantage possible.

  • acommonsenses

    No, the police do not need them. The police do not protect and serve, anyone who belives that is a fool. police have “no special duty” to protect any individual citizen – only elected officials. Everyone on this thread saying yes they should, I’ll be waiting for the cops to plow down your street tear gas your kids, murder your dog, and shoot your s/o with zero accountiblity.

  • CarlaJackson

    Are you kidding me! Melt them down and make windmills! There is already ENUF police brutality! Last thing citizens need is to be spattered with bullets! Nobody complains, until it’s accidentally them!

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