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Examine the Militarization of Police

Examine the Militarization of Police

Compare and contrast the militarization of police, including factors such as officer safety and public safety, as well as civil liberties.

Police militarization is becoming an integrating topic, and this debate continues in the United States (Ferrara, 2015). Critics have argued that the militarization of police has resulted in abuse of authority. The debate surrounding this topic has concentrated on the violence use and excessive force issue. Using selected statistics on violent crimes by both critics and supporters of the militarization of police has added to people being confused over this issue. A debate has it that military types of equipment obtained under the act of violence have led to adopting the military tactic, which endangers civil liberty.

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As argued by critics, the most fundamental militarization impact is on the culture of the police. Their claims state that the latter has led to an overly aggressive policing form that embraces using force as the principal means of solving social issues, promotes excessive and unnecessary force, and encourages the police to treat people as enemies (Coyne, 2013). Proponents, on the other hand, think that some level of militarization of police is necessary for enforcing the law to impede threats that are emerging, such as homegrown violent extremists, terrorism, and attacks from violent criminals that are heavily armed. Their claims propose that officers must use protective equipment and military-style weapons to keep pace with the continuously changing adversary.

The potential consequences of the debate regarding the militarization of police are substantial (Coyne, 2013). On one side, policies that address militarization might render the officers incapable of public protection from emerging threats. On the other hand, the free militarized activity of the police might adversely destroy civil liberty, leading to them losing the support of the public significantly.

The increased police militarization has resulted in a great decline in public trust in law enforcement agencies. As the public keeps on respecting the community’s agencies of law enforcement, public trust and confidence in the institution of law enforcement have declined since the early 2000s (Ferrara, 2015). A national survey conducted in the year 2016 states that most American citizens believe that police using military equipment is “going too far.” The study also found that most Americans think officers must be warranted before searching vehicles and homes or even monitoring phone calls. The loss of public trust and confidence in the enforcement of the law and the decreased militarization support impede the ability of law enforcement to ensure security for public safety effectively.

Explain whether or not you believe the threat of terrorism is fueling the militarization of police.

The United States terrorist attacks on September 11 the year 2001, were events that were very traumatizing for the whole country (Trilling, 2017). This was especially true for law enforcement. A lot of law enforcement officers and a lot of others died while they were initially responding to the attack in an attempt to save lives. 9/11 attacks led to many changes in operations, missions, and tactics of law enforcement agencies in the U.S.

The attacks of September 11 provided a new and urgent police militarization justification; the dire need to protect the nation from terrorism (Trilling, 2017). Within the months of attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the Office of National Drug Control Policy started laying the groundwork with ads tying drug recreational use to terrorism support. Terrorism gave rise to a new reason for arming the American police, like the military.

Identify the kind of police actions citizens view as police brutality and overreach of power.

Police brutality is using unnecessary and excessive force by a law enforcement officer upon interaction with a civilian, leading to the civil rights of the civilian being violated (Cassisi, 2016). Using tools like batons, pepper spray, and tasers, including choking, hitting, and sexual abuse, among others, are instances of the brutality of the police in the physical nature. As it might sound as if police brutality is only physical, it is not true. The non-physical police brutality includes verbal abuse, false arrest, and racial profiling. While a lot of countries have written laws that tend to address the police brutality issue, and while it is regarded as a serious matter, numerous civilian complaints fail to reach the investigation stage. According to research, since the police are allowed to apply physical force in some circumstances, it is often not easy to prove the use of excessive force in a specific situation.

Recommend alternative strategies such as community policing, SARA, and community-oriented policing, and justify these recommendations.

Reduce Police Militarization and Improve Firearm Regulations

Due to the intensive use of militarization of police in Ferguson in the year 2014, the President saw the need to reduce federal programs which equipped the local law enforcement officers with the surplus military technology (Coyne, 2013). Via executive order, President Obama ordered the creation of the Interagency Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group to analyze current programs and recommended reforms that guarantee police provided with the pieces of equipment undergo intensive training regarding the appropriate use and ensure that civil liberties and civil rights are protected.

Putting an end to the federal incentive to purchase military equipment is the initial step in an attempt to reduce police militarization. The teams of militarized SWAT are very costly in maintenance, and lack of federal funding would reduce scope. Moreover, lawmakers must pass laws that return the SWAT teams’ original purpose. SWAT teams and no-knock raids must be restricted to an emergency threatening the public’s safety and issue warrants to American citizens who are suspects of violent crimes instead of using minor offenses occurring today (Coyne, 2013). Also, lawmakers should order transparency around SWAT teams’ use. In the year 2008, Maryland State passed a bill that requires its agencies to submit biannual reports with regards to the number of times they make use of SWAT teams, their purpose, what was found by the search, and if at all any shots got fired— other states should do the same. TEvidently, a considerable increase in SWAT teams’ number and frequency of use exists. But a meaningful discussion about the militarization of police is impossible without sufficient info concerning its pervasiveness (Trilling, 2017).

Reducing threats posed to officers by civilians would then alleviate the siege mindset of the police. Highly sophisticated weapons sold to United States citizens force the police to keep up. This race of arms implies that the officers have justified fears concerning the firepower’s nature they regularly confront. Strengthening the regulations of guns to reduce improper purchasing and their availability is also a solution.

Community policing is a philosophy that supports and promotes strategies of an organization to tackle the causes and mitigate the fear of social disorder and crime via partnerships between the community and the police and problem-solving tactics (Cassisi, 2016). A significant shift from traditional policing that is reactive, community policing insists on preventing crime before its occurrence. The latter is an essential part of improving life quality in the community. Critical attributes of community policing involve a partnership with the community, solving problems, transforming policing agencies to empower and support front-line officers, encouraging innovation in problem-solving, and decentralizing command.

Problem-Solving and the SARA Model in Policing

SARA model of problem-solving has been employed by community-oriented policing for long-term solutions to a crime having less interaction with the criminal justice system and has a lot to do with changing the perception (McGregor, 2018). The acronym for SARA is Scanning, Analysis, Response, and Assessment, which refers to significant steps in decision-making and problem-solving. It involves four major components.

Scanning refers to searching for problem activity patterns, including locations, victims, and crime types. It needs problem evaluation, the problem’s perception by both external partners and law enforcement, and problem severity analysis. The next step is the analysis which involves searching for the problem’s cause or identified issues (McGregor, 2018). Information is gathered from various sources, including reports of crimes and community members affected directly by that issue. Many factors are included in the causes of a problem, including law enforcement’s community perception and the neighborhood. After identifying the cause, law enforcement officials will work with the community to develop and respond properly. After implementing the response, a continuous assessment should evaluate the solution’s effectiveness and make appropriate adjustments.

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Cassisi, A. (2016). Justice for All? An analysis of police brutality in the United States, England & Canada. Retrieved from

Coyne, A. R. (2013). The Militarization of U.S. Domestic Policing. Retrieved from;jsessionid=AC19E7D1A96D8999D3DEDBB52C1AB0EA?doi=

Ferrara, V. (2015). Police Militarization in America: The Land of the Free and the Home of Contradictions. Retrieved from

McGregor, S. B. (2018). Enhancing SARA: a new approach in an increasingly complex world. Crime Science.

Trilling, D. (2017). The militarization of America’s police may reduce crime: New study. Havard Kennedy School.


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Week 3 – Assignment 2: Examine the Militarization of Police


In 1829, Sir Robert Peel developed a plan for the London Metropolitan Police and adopted the administrative structure from the British military; however, he wanted a clear distinction between police and military by choosing different uniforms. Peel’s principles of policing were crime prevention, public approval, voluntary cooperation of the public, and the least amount of physical force. United States policing adopted Peel’s philosophy of the quasi-military rank structure, uniforms, and insignia while focusing on crime control as the core mission. Throughout the last four decades, law enforcement’s SWAT teams have become more militarized in uniforms, weaponry, and tactical training. Apuzza (2014) reported that “during the Obama Administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment, and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft” (p.1). This resulted in a drastic increase in SWAT team deployments.

Week 3 Assignment 2 Examine the Militarization of Police

Week 3 Assignment 2 Examine the Militarization of Police

On August 9, 2014, police officer Darren Wilson from the Ferguson Police Department fatally shot an 18-year-old African American male, Michael Brown. The circumstances of the use of force resulted in protest and civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. The following day, some protestors became unruly and began to loot businesses, vandalize vehicles, and confront and shoot at police officers who blocked access to several city areas. Local police stations assembled approximately 150 police officers in riot gear and used armored vehicles to control the situation.

As a safety officer for your law enforcement agency, you will evaluate the militarization of police and provide suggestions for alternative solutions to incidents such as the one in Ferguson. You have been tasked with preparing a written proposal for police leadership. Respond to the following as you prepare your proposal:

  • Compare and contrast the militarization of police, including factors such as officer and public safety, as well as civil liberties.
  • Explain whether or not you believe the threat of terrorism is fueling the militarization of police.
  • Identify the kind of police actions citizens view as police brutality and overreach of power.
  • Recommend alternative strategies such as community policing, SARA, and community-oriented policing, and justify these recommendations.

Support your arguments with this week’s readings and your research. Provide examples of crime statistics to support your thoughts and recommendations.

Support your proposal with a minimum of three scholarly resources. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources, including older articles, may be included.

Length:  5-7 pages, not including title and reference pages

Your proposal should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic.

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