Local police too militarized? Oklahoma County sheriff says no.

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OKLAHOMA - Are local police too militarized?

That's the argument some people say opposing tank-like vehicles.

But, the Oklahoma County sheriff fired back, saying all equipment is used to help save lives of not only officers but the public, too.

Armored vehicles have been a topic of controversy surrounding police shootings.

It's a very hot topic.

In Norman, many people turned out to protest against a new BearCat armored vehicle.

That's still being decided.

But, here in Oklahoma County, the sheriff said it helped save officers lives after a 16-hour standoff in Yukon.

"He obviously was trying to shoot at whomever," Sheriff John Whetsel said. "We are thankful it was bullet proof glass."

The cracks in the glass, evident of what could have happened.

"Even though there was an officer deputy behind this glass, when those shots rang out without any warning whatsoever, the officer was perfectly safe, because he was in this vehicle," Whetsel said.

The BearCat armored vehicle was used in the 16-hour standoff in Yukon just days ago.

"When they responded to the building, as you can see, there were several rounds form an AR-15 that were fired at this vehicle," Whetsel said.

But, some criticize these vehicles as militarization of local police after controversy arose from Ferguson, Missouri.

"The vehicles we have are for a purpose," Whetsel said. "And, that is to save lives. That is the number one and the only reason we have these."

The sheriff maintains their goal is for a peaceful resolution.

"The officers inside were perfectly safe because of the way this vehicle was constructed and also because of the defensive nature of this vehicle, it also did required law enforcement to return fire," Whetsel said.

The vehicle did suffer more than $6,000 in damage and around half a dozen shots, but the sheriff does not plan to take it off the streets.

"That's the great thing about this, is it's still functional," Whetsel said.

In May of last year, President Obama took action to no longer allow federal agencies to provide local departments with certain types of vehicles, like tank-like armored vehicles that move on tracks.

The BearCat was bought using federal grants.

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