P1 First Person: Police militarization, professionalism, and the balance of persuasion and force

“Militarization” is seldom defined and has grown to mean whatever the author doesn’t like about modern law enforcement


By Fred Leland and Alex Olesker

There has been a lot of talk recently in the wake of the Occupy Wall Street Movement and its evolution state to state on the topic of militarizing police forces. This topic has also come up in regards to police raids in their various forms throughout the country. Yet “militarization” is seldom defined and has grown to mean whatever the author doesn’t like about modern law enforcement. Often it’s about gear, but dressing in black does little to militarize an agency. Expanding tactical capabilities also do not justify the widespread outrage, as a more capable police force is, all else being equal, always preferable.

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