The militarization of police has evolved in the past few years. Police agencies are offered military equipment. They are often trained as if they are in a situation that needs to be taken care of with this equipment. Military equipment is now “available to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies” (Delehanty 2017 p. 1). No matter what laws are passed that allow us to have this weaponry, the country will still be divided on whether we should allow the militarization of police. Ultimately, no one will have a clear answer on militarization being a good or a bad thing. The militarizing of police inflicts mainly cons, but has enlightened the community and those around with a few pros. The problem is not directly related to the amount and type of weaponry a police department has, but rather with how much they can use along with how often this equipment is used.
The increase in military equipment has a strong correlation with the number of civilians that are killed by the police and the overall change in civilian deaths. Those who received the equipment resulted in a greater percentage in the number of civilian deaths and showed the most change in civilian deaths. “The present study suggests demilitarization may secure overall community safety” (Delehanty 2017 p. 6). Having access to military equipment potentially increased the likelihood of violence within those departments. The cause could be as simple as the lack of training with the equipment but having the access to this equipment increased the likelihood of these accidents. Having access to this military equipment increases the likelihood in brutality and violence which allows the potential for the misuse/abuse of these weapons. The 1033 program permits civilian law enforcement to gain access to military equipment. No wonder there is a problem with this program. People in the community may fear that many of these weapons are stored in one place. This situation can be alarming for some people and is not pleasing to the eye.
The militarization of police is not always a bad thing. Having access to stronger weapons can ensure the officer’s safety if put in a situation when needed. They can protect the community around them better when dealing with hostile situations. Being able to protect the community better with these weapons help ensures public safety as well. Police are now able to counteract those using heavy armory. Essentially, they can combat heavily armed individuals that pose a threat to society. Certain situations can be avoided with the help of this military equipment. For example, how can we stop an individual that is a terrorist, heavily armed, and no will to give up? Yes, this sounds extreme, but these weapons will help protect our society in these situations.