Photo by's Jim Maurice

ST. CLOUD (AP) - A debate about the militarization of Minnesota police forces has been renewed in light of the Michael Brown shooting.

Many critics have questioned the need for a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle in St. Cloud. The military grade vehicle, known as an MRAP, has been used in standoffs and high-risk searches since it was unveiled 10 months ago.

Police Chief Blair Anderson says the presence of the MRAP doesn't mean the department is loading up on military surplus. He says some equipment is given by the federal government for little or no cost.

Anderson says it's necessary for local law enforcement to prepare for skirmishes with criminals armed with high-powered weapons.

Six other agencies in Minnesota got MRAPs last year.