Military Equipment and Police Agencies




Johnson, Robert

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


The use of military equipment by law enforcement is a very polarizing topic in today’s society. Many fear that as police agencies acquire and utilize more military equipment and receive training on it by military personnel, they will become more militarized, thereby further blurring the lines between the military and the police. The fear of the police that already exists in some areas of society and the dangerous nature of this equipment is only exasperated when police agencies fail to educate their citizens about such equipment, and tactical teams arrive in armored vehicles while wearing military style uniforms and carrying assault weapons. These are the greatest arguments against police using military gear and having it available to them. The problem is that these fears and issues have been created by a lack of analysis of researched information and by the failure of police agencies to educate the public regarding the varied uses and needs for military style equipment. Police agencies should use military equipment to accomplish their missions for the protection of their officers, to be more efficient and effective in their responses to incidents, and to help ensure the safety of its citizens. With better education, communication, and relationship building between police and their communities, coupled with quality training of officers and a proper analysis of the research done on the police utilization of military equipment, a greater understanding of the vital role this equipment plays in the safety of the community and the professionalization of police agencies can be achieved.



Police -- equipment and supplies, Police community relations