The militarization of police: is it good or bad? Many would argue that militarizing the police is negative, but I, on the other hand, ask you to think about this: in an increasingly violent world, is it all that bad to grant more power to those who make it their duty to keep us safe? In everyday life, with what little power they already hold, our local law enforcement serves and protects us with all their capabilities. What people fail to realize is that the police force, in any area, fight a never-ending war on drugs, gangs, prostitution, and a plethora of other crimes being committed by those with no respect for the law or society.
When terrorists attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, it was our military, not our police, that made it their job and duty to begin the dirty task of holding those accountable for the massacre. Given this information, why is it that our police are expected to combat what is essentially domestic terrorism with limited resources and capabilities? This is disheartening at best. Our military are given access to a near never-ending array of weaponry to keep our shores safe from invading powers, yet we limit the resources that combat those that threaten us at home.
Per the Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics (UCRS), a study done by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were an estimated 354,522 robberies committed in the United States in 2012. That same year, there were also an estimated 1,214,464 violent crimes committed, which included 760,739 aggravated assaults, 14,827 murders or non-negligible manslaughters, and 84,376 forcible rapes. We are living in a world of monsters, and are doing little more than throwing sticks at them.
Many people worry that their civil liberties would be violated if the United States were to militarize the police; but how precious are your liberties when you have to worry about your life or safety being threatened at any time? Every time we watch the news, we see a horror story played out as more people are beaten, robbed, killed, lose their homes to arson, or any other number of horrendous acts committed to them. I say this: if we gave our police the capabilities that we give our military, the amount of crime would drop dramatically and quickly. If someone does not have the ability to commit a crime, one will not take place. However, this can only be achieved through the willingness to allow complete control to our respective police departments to militarize on our own soil.
Don’t be misled; we live in dangerous times. Our enemy is among us, and they are winning the fight. Every time an innocent kid dies in a drive by, a young girl or woman is robbed of her virtue, or an individual is savagely beaten and disfigured, it is another battle lost. We are ignoring the fight. For what? A little say in matters that we, as civilians, aren’t trained to handle? Do you tell a symphony director how to wave his baton, an artist how to make the brushstrokes, or a surgeon where to cut? Then why do we presume it is alright to tell those who are trained to protect us? How far is too far?
I challenge you: watch the news tonight. And when it’s done, tell me we aren’t losing.