The militarization of police forces in America is a hot topic right now. The subject seems to be on every news channel and on just about every podcast that you listen to. There is a lot of debate on whether or not it is necessary, and if it makes our streets safer. In this blog post, we will explore the militarization of police forces and discuss the pros and cons of this growing trend. Please note that while we all certainly have an opinion, this article is written to just state facts. We believe the reader should be able to make up their mind.
Militarization of police forces refers to the use of military equipment and tactics by police departments. This includes things like armored vehicles, grenade launchers, and assault rifles. Police SWAT teams are a classic example of police militarization. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the militarization of police forces across the United States.
The underlying causes of this are numerous and sometimes hard to pinpoint. One reason is that federal programs like the Department of Homeland Security’s “Urban Areas Security Initiative” have made it easier for local police departments to obtain military-grade equipment. Another reason is that many police officers believe that they need this type of gear to protect themselves and their communities from serious threats like terrorism and drug violence.
There appears to be an upward trend in mass shootings with criminals using large and powerful weapons, and terrorist threats, both foreign and domestic. News clips of criminals wearing body armor on shooting sprees while officers wait with under-powered firearms have become commonplace. This is a worse-nightmare scenario for a police officer.
Troy from GainesvilleLawnServices.com, whom is an amateur historian and expert on the militarization of modern police forces, sees both good and bad in the changes. “Obviously, we don’t want the men and women of our police forces out-gunned when facing the criminals that they’ve sworn to protect us from. However, on the flip side of the argument, it seems dangerous when some city police forces have more firepower and better weaponry than many third-World countries. There has to be some common sense policies enacted in order to balance this delicate subject.”
On the other side of this argument are the critics that believe militarization is a bad idea. Critics of militarization argue that it makes police officers feel more like soldiers than peacekeepers. They also argue that this type of gear is often unnecessary and can make it more likely for police to use excessive force. While studies are extremely complicated and hard to digest quickly, there may be some truth to these findings.
Whatever side of the fence you fall on, I think we can all agree that there is too much gun violence in our country today.