American police: Too militarized?

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Posted by gamerguru100 (10647 posts) 3 months, 29 days ago

Poll: American police: Too militarized? (52 votes)

Yes 62%
No 38%

Here's three links to articles regarding the militarization of the police.

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

This shit is scary.

#1 Posted by Doozie78 (343 posts) -

The federalization of our police force might seem like a good thing to some but I think it's a far too slippery slope that is leaving all of the people in a dangerous position. I'm not a supporter of militarization, it's wholly necessary.

#2 Posted by LJS9502_basic (151458 posts) -

Eh...I looked at your first link. Either the police need to have a strong presence there or you need the National Guard. It's a mess.

#3 Posted by leif3141 (117 posts) -

I didn't look at your links, but no. Give me a situation where the equipment in question (such as the armored vehicles, or whatever military equipment is given) has been used to slaughter citizens. I remember they used batons against a black man and that's what sparked outrage before. So clubs. Weapons since the dawn of man.

#4 Edited by Stevo_the_gamer (42978 posts) -

So much fear mongering, and political pandering. It's not a "bad" thing to have Law Enforcement better equipped to handle active shootings, disasters, and large scale rioting. These "military style" rifles have been in our ranks since the damn 90s after the Hollywood Shootout, which sadly showcased why our 870s and handguns don't do crap against armored individuals carrying assault rifles.

Secondly, the crying about the armored vehicles... they can save lives by going into active shooter situations and provide cover for wounded individuals and be used to extract personnel. They can also move through flooded areas and provide support in disaster areas or heavy wind/hurricane disaster. No, they do not carry a .50 cal on the top or any sort of mk. 19.

Lastly, the crying about using more and more SWAT raid per year than before. SWAT has received better training and better equipment, and thus are better apt to handle search warrants and arrest warrants in houses/apartments etc. When Deputies used to do it, and while we still do do it, it's a hell of a lot safer to have the veteran personnel kick down the door and enter. But of course, using the team best apt to handle the job is now a "bad thing" because "they look scary."

It's like a bunch of whiny teenagers crying over things they do not understand. I do not tell doctors what equipment they need, or what training they should have or how to do their job. Same goes for firemen, and the military. Why? Because I'm not part of any of those careers, so I hold my tongue on things that are not in my forte.

#5 Posted by airshocker (29904 posts) -

I'm kind of torn on this issue. On one hand we have a clear problem where Police aren't understanding the ramifications of responding to relatively trivial incidents decked out in full battle rattle while riding in MRAPS(bearcats) and on the other we know there is a need for departments have some of this equipment for the "oh shit" scenarios that we can never predict.

I think what's probably best is departments putting together better SOPs with regards to where and when such equipment can be used.

#6 Posted by leif3141 (117 posts) -

@airshocker said:

I'm kind of torn on this issue. On one hand we have a clear problem where Police aren't understanding the ramifications of responding to relatively trivial incidents decked out in full battle rattle while riding in MRAPS(bearcats) and on the other we know there is a need for departments have some of this equipment for the "oh shit" scenarios that we can never predict.

I think what's probably best is departments putting together better SOPs with regards to where and when such equipment can be used.

This sounds pretty good to me. There is a need for it, but most of the police abuses I have heard of didn't really rely on this type of equipment. It's been clubs, pistols, fists, etc. All pretty standard police equipment. Maybe a focus on better discipline in police academies. I don't know what its like completely but I have gone through military training and work customer service, so I have extensive levels of restraint :)

#7 Posted by airshocker (29904 posts) -

@leif3141 said:

@airshocker said:

I'm kind of torn on this issue. On one hand we have a clear problem where Police aren't understanding the ramifications of responding to relatively trivial incidents decked out in full battle rattle while riding in MRAPS(bearcats) and on the other we know there is a need for departments have some of this equipment for the "oh shit" scenarios that we can never predict.

I think what's probably best is departments putting together better SOPs with regards to where and when such equipment can be used.

This sounds pretty good to me. There is a need for it, but most of the police abuses I have heard of didn't really rely on this type of equipment. It's been clubs, pistols, fists, etc. All pretty standard police equipment. Maybe a focus on better discipline in police academies. I don't know what its like completely but I have gone through military training and work customer service, so I have extensive levels of restraint :)

The only training I received on this type of hardware came from the military. The Police then gave us extra training, but it was pretty slapdash.

Standards need to be created first, then we can focus on training.

#8 Posted by SaintLeonidas (26350 posts) -

When you have soldiers commenting on how police officers have more gear in Ferguson than they did in Iraq then you know there is a problem. We've literally gotten to a point in which police look exactly like all the once "fictional" depictions of them in films/games with totalitarian themes. I personally think it is completely unnecessary; and the Ferguson PD certainly didn't help the case for the upgrades - they did not seem to actually know how to handle some of these weapons (pointing loaded rifles at unarmed individuals is a huge no no).

#9 Posted by airshocker (29904 posts) -

@SaintLeonidas said:

When you have soldiers commenting on how police officers have more gear in Ferguson than they did in Iraq then you know there is a problem. We've literally gotten to a point in which police look exactly like all the once "fictional" depictions of them in films/games with totalitarian themes. I personally think it is completely unnecessary; and the Ferguson PD certainly didn't help the case for the upgrades - they did not seem to actually know how to handle some of these weapons (pointing loaded rifles at unarmed individuals is a huge no no).

I had better gear in Iraq than the guys in Ferguson have. Usually service members who served after the initial war in Iraq(2006+) had better gear than the guys who served before them.

#10 Posted by leif3141 (117 posts) -

@SaintLeonidas said:

When you have soldiers commenting on how police officers have more gear in Ferguson than they did in Iraq then you know there is a problem. We've literally gotten to a point in which police look exactly like all the once "fictional" depictions of them in films/games with totalitarian themes. I personally think it is completely unnecessary; and the Ferguson PD certainly didn't help the case for the upgrades - they did not seem to actually know how to handle some of these weapons (pointing loaded rifles at unarmed individuals is a huge no no).

They wore armor. Seems more defensive rather than offensive. They used tear gas. Pretty standard procedure for mobs of unruly people. They had EBRs (evil black rifles). How many people were shot by them? To be honest- I don't even know that last one myself, but I bet it was a low amount, if any.

#11 Edited by Aljosa23 (25127 posts) -

I don't have a problem with the police having better equipment, my issue is more about them using it incorrectly. During Ferguson a lot of the cops were aiming their guns at protesters without the intent to shoot and that is a huge no. Whether it's a training or discipline problem remains to be seen but I don't see the issue with better equipment as long as the ones wielding it have proper training and obey protocol.

#12 Edited by Treflis (11575 posts) -

From my point of view, I'd say yes.

Then again I'm Norwegian and In the rare cases Police are required to arm themselves here it's either handled by "SWAT" or they got kevlar vests on and carry MP5's, Wouldn't call that militarized so my point of view might be a little biased because of this.

#13 Posted by farrell2k (6363 posts) -

Not surprising. Despite gun owners extolling the virtues of gun ownership, it has done nothing but made our country the most dangerous first world country on the planet. 300,000,000 guns and the police are put into a position where every moron walking in public could potentially be carrying a gun, and any one of them could simply pull one out and start firing for no reason other than they just felt like doing it! Add to that the fact that we have nearly half the country's "conservatives", whatever that means these days, running around telling everyone that the "bad guys" are right around the corner and hiding in every shadow, and you breed a culture of irrational paranoia where people feel that they have to have a loaded weapon on them to be safe buying a carton of milk. Can you really blame the police? I certainly can't.

#14 Posted by hippiesanta (9892 posts) -

no .... american police are still nicer compare to police from 3rd world country ... who is behaving like a government henchmen and taking bribe .. and taking orders by higer authoritah to perform execution.

#15 Edited by fueled-system (6302 posts) -

Remember that California Bank Robbery in the 90's? All that needs to be said to discredit this(if only I remembered when exactly it was)

#16 Edited by leif3141 (117 posts) -

@farrell2k said:

Not surprising. Despite gun owners extolling the virtues of gun ownership, it has done nothing but made our country the most dangerous first world country on the planet. 300,000,000 guns and the police are put into a position where every moron walking in public could potentially be carrying a gun, and any one of them could simply pull one out and start firing for no reason other than they just felt like doing it! Add to that the fact that we have nearly half the country's "conservatives", whatever that means these days, running around telling everyone that the "bad guys" are right around the corner and hiding in every shadow, and you breed a culture of irrational paranoia where people feel that they have to have a loaded weapon on them to be safe buying a carton of milk. Can you really blame the police? I certainly can't.

While you do have somewhat of a point (the over sized amount of fear we are given on a daily basis, and the open carry movement being a little over the top), you ruin it by being a little too hyperbolic.

#17 Posted by airshocker (29904 posts) -

@farrell2k said:

Not surprising. Despite gun owners extolling the virtues of gun ownership, it has done nothing but made our country the most dangerous first world country on the planet. 300,000,000 guns and the police are put into a position where every moron walking in public could potentially be carrying a gun, and any one of them could simply pull one out and start firing for no reason other than they just felt like doing it! Add to that the fact that we have nearly half the country's "conservatives", whatever that means these days, running around telling everyone that the "bad guys" are right around the corner and hiding in every shadow, and you breed a culture of irrational paranoia where people feel that they have to have a loaded weapon on them to be safe buying a carton of milk. Can you really blame the police? I certainly can't.

Gets stomped in gun control thread, proceeds to talk about gun control in another thread. 0/10.

#18 Posted by farrell2k (6363 posts) -

@airshocker said:

@farrell2k said:

Not surprising. Despite gun owners extolling the virtues of gun ownership, it has done nothing but made our country the most dangerous first world country on the planet. 300,000,000 guns and the police are put into a position where every moron walking in public could potentially be carrying a gun, and any one of them could simply pull one out and start firing for no reason other than they just felt like doing it! Add to that the fact that we have nearly half the country's "conservatives", whatever that means these days, running around telling everyone that the "bad guys" are right around the corner and hiding in every shadow, and you breed a culture of irrational paranoia where people feel that they have to have a loaded weapon on them to be safe buying a carton of milk. Can you really blame the police? I certainly can't.

Gets stomped in gun control thread, proceeds to talk about gun control in another thread. 0/10.

Ah, I see you're still butthurt because I pointed out the fact that you argue with logical fallacies. HAHA. It's O.K. You will learn.

#19 Posted by gcfreak898 (1758 posts) -

Thank god for the second amendment and my chl permit. I'd rather be judged by twelve than carried by six. :-) I go to the range regularly.

#20 Posted by farrell2k (6363 posts) -

@hippiesanta said:

no .... american police are still nicer compare to police from 3rd world country ... who is behaving like a government henchmen and taking bribe .. and taking orders by higer authoritah to perform execution.

Yeah, but America is not a third world country, so the comparison is invalid.

#21 Posted by airshocker (29904 posts) -

@farrell2k said:

@airshocker said:

@farrell2k said:

Not surprising. Despite gun owners extolling the virtues of gun ownership, it has done nothing but made our country the most dangerous first world country on the planet. 300,000,000 guns and the police are put into a position where every moron walking in public could potentially be carrying a gun, and any one of them could simply pull one out and start firing for no reason other than they just felt like doing it! Add to that the fact that we have nearly half the country's "conservatives", whatever that means these days, running around telling everyone that the "bad guys" are right around the corner and hiding in every shadow, and you breed a culture of irrational paranoia where people feel that they have to have a loaded weapon on them to be safe buying a carton of milk. Can you really blame the police? I certainly can't.

Gets stomped in gun control thread, proceeds to talk about gun control in another thread. 0/10.

Ah, I see you're still butthurt because I pointed out the fact that you argue with logical fallacies. HAHA. It's O.K. You will learn.

You haven't pointed out anything. I can also say you've been using logical fallacies. That's meaningless until I actually show you what's fallacious about them.

#22 Posted by farrell2k (6363 posts) -

@airshocker said:

@farrell2k said:

@airshocker said:

@farrell2k said:

Not surprising. Despite gun owners extolling the virtues of gun ownership, it has done nothing but made our country the most dangerous first world country on the planet. 300,000,000 guns and the police are put into a position where every moron walking in public could potentially be carrying a gun, and any one of them could simply pull one out and start firing for no reason other than they just felt like doing it! Add to that the fact that we have nearly half the country's "conservatives", whatever that means these days, running around telling everyone that the "bad guys" are right around the corner and hiding in every shadow, and you breed a culture of irrational paranoia where people feel that they have to have a loaded weapon on them to be safe buying a carton of milk. Can you really blame the police? I certainly can't.

Gets stomped in gun control thread, proceeds to talk about gun control in another thread. 0/10.

Ah, I see you're still butthurt because I pointed out the fact that you argue with logical fallacies. HAHA. It's O.K. You will learn.

You haven't pointed out anything. I can also say you've been using logical fallacies. That's meaningless until I actually show you what's fallacious about them.

This was already explained to you by multiple people. You just refuse to see it, now stop trying to derail this thread.

#23 Posted by airshocker (29904 posts) -

@farrell2k said:

@airshocker said:

@farrell2k said:

@airshocker said:

@farrell2k said:

Not surprising. Despite gun owners extolling the virtues of gun ownership, it has done nothing but made our country the most dangerous first world country on the planet. 300,000,000 guns and the police are put into a position where every moron walking in public could potentially be carrying a gun, and any one of them could simply pull one out and start firing for no reason other than they just felt like doing it! Add to that the fact that we have nearly half the country's "conservatives", whatever that means these days, running around telling everyone that the "bad guys" are right around the corner and hiding in every shadow, and you breed a culture of irrational paranoia where people feel that they have to have a loaded weapon on them to be safe buying a carton of milk. Can you really blame the police? I certainly can't.

Gets stomped in gun control thread, proceeds to talk about gun control in another thread. 0/10.

Ah, I see you're still butthurt because I pointed out the fact that you argue with logical fallacies. HAHA. It's O.K. You will learn.

You haven't pointed out anything. I can also say you've been using logical fallacies. That's meaningless until I actually show you what's fallacious about them.

This was already explained to you by multiple people. You just refuse to see it, now stop trying to derail this thread.

No, it hasn't. I'll continue to call you out when it's appropriate, thanks.

#24 Posted by gamerguru100 (10647 posts) -

I'd like to say that it's really sad that police in Ferguson are aiming loaded rifles at people. One of the articles was saying you can't gain the trust of people by aiming guns at them, which I find hard to disagree with. Aren't these guys supposed to be trained? Common sense alone says you don't aim a gun at a target unless you're planning on shooting it. What if a guy doing this gets startled or distracted and accidentally discharges his weapon? Boy, that will really put the fuck in clusterfuck.

#25 Posted by PannicAtack (21037 posts) -

SWAT teams are a good idea when you have crazed gunmen with hostages.

SWAT teams are a bad idea when you're busting some twenty-somethings for pot.

#26 Edited by GeekInkINC (195 posts) -

Courtesy of Business Insider

Those numbers are from 2011. I'd say we need to make our cops more accountable for not being prepared for their jobs because other places are doing a better job at it, a WAY freaking better job.

#27 Edited by lamprey263 (24205 posts) -

Yes, and just to make a point, even if cosmetically the police appear militarized with their tanks, their body armor, their militarized style rifles, etc, imagine what that can do to their psychology, their mindset, and their behavior from that point onward...

#28 Edited by leif3141 (117 posts) -

@geekinkinc said:

Courtesy of Business Insider

Those numbers are from 2011. I'd say we need to make our cops more accountable for not being prepared for their jobs because other places are doing a better job at it, a WAY freaking better job.

That is a BS comparison and you know it. If the person is armed with a gun, police really have no choice but to shoot said person. Only in America out of those 4 countries do most criminals have guns (this isn't a debate about gun control, but the reality is criminals do have easier access to them here than the other countries you listed). If someone has a bat/knife, you can just taser or pepper spray them.

#29 Edited by leif3141 (117 posts) -

@lamprey263 said:

Yes, and just to make a point, even if cosmetically the police appear militarized with their tanks, their body armor, their militarized style rifles, etc, imagine what that can do to their psychology, their mindset, and their behavior from that point onward...

The stanford prison experiment wasn't about equipment being used. It was about guard/inmate mentality. So by that logic, we shouldn't have police simply because they will get full of themselves? He took regular joes and suddenly infused some of them with control. They had no experience with that much control. Hypothetically, police are given training to avoid letting it get to their head. Does it always work? No, but I don't think body armor is suddenly going to boost thee control feeling to an unmanageable level.

#30 Posted by foxhound_fox (88743 posts) -

The militarization isn't an issue per se, because police forces need equalizing or bettering equipment than criminals... who get their hands on armour piercing weapons, body armour, projectile explosives, etc all the time.

What the problem is in the US, I think, is the poor hiring standards of many local law enforcement entities, who don't weed out the ego-maniacs who join solely to lord their power and authority over other individuals. No police force is immune to these types of people (as they tend to be manipulative and can squeak by the testing) but they can surely be far more transparent when it comes to dealing with internal issues that these people create (i.e. don't make it look like they are covering it up).

It's a lack of community involvement that is causing people's hatred for the police. Here in Winnipeg, the police take part in community events (i.e. charities and fundraising) and have the philosophy of "building relationships". There is the odd person with an ego-complex that takes some things too far, but oh shit are they accountable for their actions. All one needs to do is ask for a supervisor and they get their ass handed to them (if they are in fact at fault or overstepping their authority... one needs to be aware of what the police are allowed to do before attempting this).

#31 Edited by SambaLele (5424 posts) -

Of course it's not an issue. The issue is trainning, education, transparency, oversight, community involvement and liability on the eventual excessive/unnecessary use of force by the police. If the police is used as a means to avoid public manifestation, for political objectives, etc., it will do so even if badly equipped. One of the major signs of this happening is when the unnecessary use of force goes unpunished. This is the real issue.

#32 Edited by LJS9502_basic (151458 posts) -

@leif3141: Yes just looking at stats does nothing to assess culpability.

#33 Edited by l34052 (3216 posts) -

@hippiesanta said:

american police are still nicer compare to police from 3rd world country ... who is behaving like a government henchmen and taking bribe .. and taking orders by higer authoritah to perform execution.

this sounds very much like the american police to me, fuck 'em

#34 Posted by LJS9502_basic (151458 posts) -
@l34052 said:

@hippiesanta said:

american police are still nicer compare to police from 3rd world country ... who is behaving like a government henchmen and taking bribe .. and taking orders by higer authoritah to perform execution.

this sounds very much like the american police to me, fuck 'em

Hmm....well then I suggest you try living in some of those other countries and then come back and talk.

#35 Edited by thebest31406 (3439 posts) -

Of course it's militarized but what's worse is that everyday Americans are the targets of their paramilitary endeavors.

There are an estimated 45,000 SWAT raids every year. That means this sort of violent, paramilitary raid is happening in about 124 homes every day – or more likely every night – not in an overseas combat zone, but here in American neighborhoods. The police, who are supposed to serve and protect communities, are instead waging war on the people who live in them.

Our new report, War at Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing, takes a hard look at 800 of these raids – or at least what state and local law enforcement agencies are willing to tell us about them. We found that almost 80% of SWAT raids are to search homes, usually for drugs, and disproportionately, in communities of color. During these drug searches, at least 10 officers often piled into armored personnel carriers. They forced their way into people's homes using military equipment like battering rams 60 percent of the time. And they were 14 times more likely to deploy flashbang grenades than during SWAT raids for other purposes.

Another Day, Another 124 Violent SWAT Raids

#36 Posted by hippiesanta (9892 posts) -

@l34052 said:

@hippiesanta said:

american police are still nicer compare to police from 3rd world country ... who is behaving like a government henchmen and taking bribe .. and taking orders by higer authoritah to perform execution.

this sounds very much like the american police to me, fuck 'em

you know nothing Jon Snow

#37 Posted by doejack202 (6 posts) -

@SambaLele:

@SambaLele said:

Of course it's not an issue. The issue is trainning, education, transparency, oversight, community involvement and liability on the eventual excessive/unnecessary use of force by the police. If the police is used as a means to avoid public manifestation, for political objectives, etc., it will do so even if badly equipped. One of the major signs of this happening is when the unnecessary use of force goes unpunished. This is the real issue.

I would have to disagree with you when you say that the issue is in training, oversight, and community involvement. With the sheer number of hours police officers spend in training, I feel as though the training isn’t the real issue. With the average length of a police academy being over 750 hours in classroom and over 450 hours of field training according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, we can’t blame everything on a lack of training.

You also mentioned that community involvement was part of the issue, but community policing is used in a substantial number of departments which employ about 82% of the nation’s police officers. These values are also from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. I feel like this number still should be higher, but we can’t blame the lack of community involvement as the main issue behind unnecessary force, especially in larger cities where, even if community policing is in place, police officers still may not know the citizens they are involved with.

Another bit of information that I think is also important to consider, since you said that the lack of oversight is an issue, is the fact that complaints are sustained more often in cities without citizens review boards according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. I believe that Citizen oversight is important, but I don’t think it will have the effect that most people think it will.

I do agree that the biggest issue is the lack of consequences for officers who use excessive force. It’s very difficult to judge guilt or innocence in these cases when there are two conflicting stories which are probably both not entirely true, but I think it is definitely become more and more unbiased with the advancements in recording technology and body cameras that have come out in the past decade.

#38 Posted by devotedtopolice (7 posts) -

@doejack202:

I generally agree with what you have brought into light regarding the militarized image of the police. You illuminated a valid point when you declared that training and education is not the main issue when dealing with use of force. However, it is noteworthy to mention that improper training could lead to the development of negative traits associated with subculture in new police officers. The police are trained to be able to reasonably make split second decisions in citizen encounters. Police can never be sure what a citizen’s next actions are going to be; they have to react with the best option of force within seconds, without having a chance to critically analyze their decision until after the fact. Nevertheless, Tennessee v. Garner sets forth factors that have to be present for an officer to reasonably use deadly force and it be justified. These provisions are “if an officer has probable cause that an individual is posing a serious threat to physical harm of either other officers or people, the use of deadly force may be reasonable to prevent escape of the suspect”. Although it may seem to the public eye that officers get away with everything, they are internally investigated and their reputations are laid on the line in these incidents. Police officers do not act on their own free will; they are knowledgeable on the limits placed on their power and the standards in place to protect both them and citizens. With regards to pre-use of force, departmental administration need to use more early intervention programs that provide warning signs of the risk of an officer to potentially abuse his/her ability to use force. Certain categories of misconduct provide early signals that can warn of aggressive or unreasonable behavior in a police officer. Although this method has its flaws and is not as effective as it appears to be, it can still provide baseline knowledge about individual officers. Various academic sources were used in writing this comment, if you are interested in these, feel free to request them.

#39 Posted by JustPlainLucas (74207 posts) -

I've seen enough videos of police shooting suspects with lethal force when at that moment of the shooting, they posed no threat. More tasers and other forms of non-lethal force should be used.

#40 Posted by VoodooHak (15989 posts) -

I'm not worried about the weapons they're carrying or the armor they strap to their chests, or even the vehicles they're rolling in.

I'd be more worried about the actions of the police. As long as they're not overstepping their authority, they can tote whatever they want. I can only speak to my own experiences. As a resident of The Bronx, I have yet to meet a cop that's treated me badly.

#41 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (16379 posts) -
@fueled-system said:

Remember that California Bank Robbery in the 90's? All that needs to be said to discredit this(if only I remembered when exactly it was)

I think the North Hollywood shootout is what caused cops to be up-armed with better weapons:

I also worry about these stuff happening:

#42 Posted by Obieron1995 (9 posts) -

I agree with the claim made by “doejack202” that police use of excessive force is not a consequence of insufficient police training, oversight, and community involvement. You are correct regarding the extensive training recruits endure. These trainings are continually being improved and focusing more on ethics, human relations, communicating with other races, and domestic violence situations. The probationary period also focuses on recruits impulse control or proclivity towards violence. For the most part, the screening processes and probationary period are effective in weeding out recruits with unsatisfactory performances.

You are also right in saying that community policing is common throughout departments. This policing style is one of the primary sources of job satisfaction for officers. It allows police to see the results of their work and improve themselves socially. Most officers desire good relationships with the communities they serve. Good relationships reduces hostility from citizens and enhances public cooperation. Community policing makes police work easier. I also disagree with the claim that a lack of education is a contributor to excessive force. Recruit training tests literacy and education levels. It’s common for contemporary police to have college degrees. More education helps officers understand the gravity of their decisions and enhances their communication skills.

With the continual improvement of modern technology, citizen and department oversight is improving. The fact that a citizen can, in a matter of seconds, take a clear picture or video of police in action and upload it onto the internet is a very effective form of citizen oversight. Organized department subcultures also keep officers in check through what they consider acceptable behavior and misconduct. Police unions are also a common way officers share values and strategies regarding reactions to certain situations.

Police should maintain their current level of militarization. The more power someone gets, the more dangerous they become. Police need some military authority to receive compliance from citizens, to be effective order maintainers, to be criminal law preventers and enforcers. To do their jobs properly. I have researched this topic and would be happy to provide my academic sources.

#43 Posted by mattbbpl (10647 posts) -

No, I want the police to be well equipped.

That said, there are related issues in the police department. A lack of published Standard Operating Procedures has already been mentioned, and the police force have a trust issue with the populace - that needs to be rebuilt, and doing so requires not overreacting to trivial situations with an excessive display of force and generally displaying a strong ethical base for a long time.

That last portion is the trickiest because tensions are already high. Once tensions are high, even situations in which the officer reacted correctly can be misinterpreted as unethical and the goodwill built to that point is lost. The police have a long way to go in that regard, and they're staring at an uphill battle.

#44 Edited by JangoWuzHere (16579 posts) -

It's not the equipment they use, it's the police themselves. Too many police officers react poorly in many situations. If it were up to me, you shouldn't be allowed to join the police force after you leave the military. Many who leave the military end up joining the police force, and it's a really bad mixture. Military personal have the mind set of search and destroy, while a police officer should be serving and protecting the people.

#45 Edited by airshocker (29904 posts) -

@JangoWuzHere said:

It's not the equipment they use, it's the police themselves. Too many police officers react poorly in many situations. If it were up to me, you shouldn't be allowed to join the police force after you leave the military. Many who leave the military end up joining the police force, and it's a really bad mixture. Military personal have the mind set of search and destroy, while a police officer should be serving and protecting the people.

You have no idea what you're talking about. I was an MP in the Air Force. I was never taught to search and destroy anything. You know what mentality I was taught? I was taught to follow my training, obey the law, and treat people as impartially as I could.

Most veterans do not have a "search and destroy" mindset and you do us a huge disservice by saying such nonsense. Yes, there are troubled veterans. There are also troubled citizens. Psychological testing weeds out the worst of both.

The real problem is training and a lack of awareness of how our actions look to the public. As someone who has worn battle-rattle in the military I can say that I have no great urge to wear a plate carrier in order to look cool. I'm in the minority, though.

#46 Posted by berto64 (12682 posts) -

The term "militarized' does police have tanks ? does police have APCs like Strykers, Bradleys armed with machine guns ? answer is no. does police have Black Hawks or other helicopters with military armaments ? nope . but sure SWAT officers have M4s, M16s, SMGs, tactical shotguns and other tactical equipment that looks paramilitary but they're not in a form like they're soldiers fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. SWAT officers are armed to respond to high risk situations. from barricaded suspects, heists, school, hospital or any other type of mass shootings, counter-terrorism and riot control (even though there is riot control units in many police departments across the country). they surely arrive and use armored vehicles but does that make them "militarized" ? no it doesn't after all even with high powered equipment and tactical vests etc, they still are doing law enforcement work in their jurisdiction. but i do think there are those officer that cross the line, department and officers not working under protocol thus may need to do more training. there are many great cops that do their jobs but those that tend to take it far, then maybe they're not fit for the position as the best in the department to handle such situations. in all i do think there should be more training for SWAT officers and re-teach them protocol etc. but if there is a cop that goes out of bounds, then that cop should be withdrawn from SWAT and be posted in another position suited for the officer. if the officer commits a crime on the job then yes deal with him entirely....

#47 Posted by ad1x2 (5673 posts) -

@JangoWuzHere said:

It's not the equipment they use, it's the police themselves. Too many police officers react poorly in many situations. If it were up to me, you shouldn't be allowed to join the police force after you leave the military. Many who leave the military end up joining the police force, and it's a really bad mixture. Military personal have the mind set of search and destroy, while a police officer should be serving and protecting the people.

Not everybody who serves in the military is trained the same. Most similarities in training end after basic, outside of some leadership and basic medical training all troops (depending on rank) are expected to know. Also, as of late counterinsurgency is more about kissing the asses of the locals than killing outside of self-defense and taking out Taliban cell leaders.

You shouldn't use war movies and Call of Duty as a judge of how military servicemembers are trained.

#48 Posted by lamprey263 (24205 posts) -

I care more about the lack of accountability for police than I do about the hand-me-downs they get from the Pentagon.

#49 Posted by thegerg (15458 posts) -

@JangoWuzHere: "Military personal have the mind set of search and destroy"

As do civilians. The people who have that mindset towards innocent civilians are psychopaths, it has nothing to do with their previous employer.

#50 Posted by Abbeten (2898 posts) -

Pretty obviously yes, it defies belief that local police forces would ever be presented with a situation in which military-surplus equipment is necessary. So we shouldn't be selling it to them.