A Pentagon program that gives military surplus weapons to local police has been supplying units that the Department of Justice has censured for civil rights violations. In the last five years, the Justice Department has opened civil rights investigations into over 20 local law enforcement units, the most recent one being in Ferguson, Missouri, which was also armed with military equipment. Some of the units sign settlements and promise to make reforms, but they still receive military-grade weapons from the government. A police force in Warren, Ohio signed a settlement in 2012 after it was investigated for a pattern of excessive force and illegal searches. The unit of 70 officers was able to order 30 M16 rifles under the military surplus program. "We don't have an issue here with brandishing firearms and shooting people. That's not the reason the Department of Justice came in here to begin with," said local police chief Eric Merkel in defense of their order. Alan Estevez, who oversees the program, admitted at a Senate hearing this month that comunication was "lacking" between the Defense Department and the Justice Department. "We need to do a better job there," he said.