Police forces nationwide have been criticized for their increased militarization following this summer’s protests and riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Now, Goshen County is coming under scrutiny for owning two grenade launchers.
The weapons have never been used, but are kept by the Goshen County Sheriff’s department in case they are needed to immobilize a crowd of people. The county is home to only around 14-thousand people, and its jail houses just 25 inmates.
Goshen County Undersheriff James Lowry says that over his 37 years in law enforcement, he has seen more and more military-grade weapons and training in local forces. He says the grenade launcher is a precautionary measure.
"Well have we upgraded weaponry? Yes. We’re outgunned in every aspect. And we live in the state of Wyoming where everyone has guns. We don’t expect to have to use this stuff that we have but as the old saying goes it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it."
Goshen is the only Wyoming county with a grenade launcher.