Saturday, August 23, 2014

Viewpoints Industry Asks If It's Time to Say Goodbye to Militarized Police

Viewpoints Industry observes that for decades, the US military has sold its tactical weaponry to local and state police forces for their use on an everyday basis.  Following the confrontations between police and citizens in Ferguson, Missouri, that policy is being reviewed.  In the ongoing effort to improve community relations, a police department that shows up dressed up and geared to resemble futuristic marines on an assault mission does little to instill confidence and bring about peace on the streets.  There has already been a growing tendency for police personnel to respond a little too fast and much too aggressively to confrontations.  We have watched law enforcement officers with raging adrenalin empty their clips into unarmed citizens with little in the way of accountability after the fact.  Urban tanks, water canons and tear gas do nothing to encourage a sense of calm and order.

Viewpoints Industry points out that aggressively equipped police do not exactly inspire peace in the community.

The Viewpoints Industry TV show notes that the officers in command in Missouri did try to lay down their assault-grade weapons and deal with the people in the streets of Ferguson on a more human, face-to-face level, and for a while, it seemed to work.  After the horror stories filtering out of various totalitarian regimes over the past few decades, and the image ingrained in the public psyche of the fascist military authorities from both fictional and real-life accounts, the response of most people to the community peace officers sporting military-level gear and using commando tactics inspires more fear, panic and resistance than anything else.  Anyone in a public relations role knows that it is a mistake to lead with a hostile image.

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