Raw Numbers: Heartland communities armed by U.S. Military program

Ferguson Missouri Police dressed in riot gear.

The recent events of unrest in Ferguson, Mo. has drawn attention to the amount of military gear that local law enforcement offices have received from the United States military in recent years.

In the case of Ferguson, police were firing rubber bullets, not real ones, along with tear gas and smoke bombs in an effort to tamp down protests and disperse demonstrators who had gathered to demand justice for Michael Brown.

Authorityâ??s response to the protests has highlighted a growing trend in the United States: police SWAT teams look increasingly like military forces, using military-grade equipment and justifying that use by noting that the public has increasingly-sophisticated weapons themselves.

The distribution of military equipment to local law enforcement began in the 1990s to help agencies fight the so-called war on drugs. It was expanded after 9/11, with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, to help law enforcement fight terror threats, experts said.

Thereâ??s no information available yet about what other tactical equipment the Ferguson Police Department may have received, but a complete list of the equipment provided to St. Louis County by the Department of Defense shows the types of weapons being distributed: six .45-caliber pistols, 12 rifles, two sight reflexes, one explosive ordinance disposal robot, one helicopter, seven utility trucks, three trailers, one motorized cart, one pair of elbow pads, one pair of knee pads, one industrial strength face shield, two night-vision viewers, and computers.

But Ferguson is certainly not alone in the country when it comes to military equipment provided to local law enforcement offices by the U.S. military.

Using an interactive map provided by the New York Times using publicly-provided data from the Department of Defense, below is a full list of items provided to local county law enforcement within the Heartland.

You may note that many of the most populous counties in the viewing area, are nowhere near the top of the list. Washington and Jasper County, Iowa are the only local counties who have received an armored vehicle. (Please note: this is in addition to equipment that these law enforcement offices already have that are provided within their respective county budgets).

We have ranked the counties in a general order of total numbers of items.

Washington County, Iowa:

-Assault Rifles: 11

-Body Armor Pieces: 8

-Night Vision Piece: 5

-Mine Resistant Vehicle: 1

Jasper County, Iowa:

-Assault Rifles: 8

-Mine Resistant Vehicle: 1

Linn County, Mo.:

-Assault Rifles: 1

-Pistols: 6

Appanoose County, Iowa:

-Body Armor Pieces: 10

-Assault Rifles: 7

Lee County, Iowa:

-Assault Rifles: 25

Jefferson County, Iowa:

-Assault Rifles: 18

Marion County, Iowa:

-Assault Rifles: 10

Des Moines County, Iowa:

-Assault Rifles: 8

Mahaska County, Iowa

-Assault Rifles: 7

Davis County, Iowa:

-Assault Rifles: 4

Monroe County, Iowa:

-Assault Rifles: 4

Lewis County, Mo.:

-Assault Rifles: 1

Scotland County, Mo.:

-Night Vision Piece: 1

Not every county in Heartland has received military equipment. The counties not listed have not received the equipment, according to the New York Times.