I find it ironic that some people are concerned about the militarization of the police force. With the absence of real gun control in our country, what other responsible choice does law enforcement have but to be prepared to respond to situations involving people with automatic and other military grade weapons?
Of course, it's critical that the police use their power with discretion. However, I also don't want the police to be ill-prepared when called upon to respond to domestic terrorism which can involve one person or a group of people with no qualms about killing or dying for their cause. Law enforcement officers are people with families who depend on them just like the rest of us, and they should not be put in harm's way without adequate weaponry and defensive accoutrement.
I am still of the mind-set that the most effective law enforcement/peace keeping strategies in any civilized community start from the bottom up. It's really the responsibility of we the citizenry to conduct ourselves in a safe and respectful manner. However, when law enforcement becomes necessary, they should be prepared and equipped to respond to worst-case scenarios. Anything else is a set up.