Sunday, August 17, 2014

Militarization of Police

Many people complain about the militarization of police.  I think that can be a concern, but I think that it is not the problem many people think it has become.  I believe it is a problem of perception, rather than reality.  Some complain that police are using automatic weapons.  Police have used automatic weapons since at least the 1920's.  Some complain that police are using armored cars, police have used armored cars since at least the early 1930's.  I think part of the problem is that in the last 12 years soldiers have been conducting operations that often resemble SWAT raids rather than traditional military operations.

The perception problem comes with the way we present ourselves.  Police armored vehicles should not be marked like camouflaged or black military vehicles.  They should be marked in black and white or whatever livery is the norm for regular police cars in that jurisdiction.  In California that means armored cars should be black and white and have a light bar on top.  The name of the agency that operates the vehicle and the other police markings should be prominent, as they are on their agency cars.

Special unit officers, like SWAT, should be attired in clothing that looks like regular police uniforms.  If the officers wear blue police uniforms then the SWAT team should have blue uniforms too, even if they are wearing BDUs or other special clothing, they should wear non-subdued patches, metal badges and name tags.  They should have the word POLICE in large letters front and rear.  Police are not soldiers and should not try to look like soldiers; that's what the SGT Says.


Protect_and_Serve said...

"Militarization of Police" is a catch phrase designed to make money for the liberal media. Just like "Teenager" when the 6'5", 300lb suspect is 19 1/2 years old or "Unarmed" when the dirt bag just tried to run over a cop with a 4000lb car.

If the police were militarized, then they would use bombs and bombers rather than a few armored cars. They would use recon by fire rather than walking into dangerous calls. They would call in artillery to level a drug infested neighborhood rather than clean up on house and block at a time. IN short, there would be a whole lot let crime but a lot less freedom in the process.

Mike Creek said...

I agree. I think police need to make minor changes in presentation, not in tactics, equipment or vehicles.