How America’s Police Became an Army

Not awesome.

The events in Ferguson, Missouri, have led folks to wonder why the police there look more like troops than cops. Here’s a Newsweek article you should read. Short, partial explanation: our country is awash in military surplus gear. Our own Eric Celeste had a look earlier this year at how the phenomenon has played out in North Texas. ICYMI.


  • Bill Marvel

    I wonder, also, Tim, how many of those police officers are returning veterans. The skills, judgments and attitudes required of a civilian police force are — or should be — entirely different from those required of combat-trained soldiers.

  • Eric Celeste

    Bill, here’s a fantastic story that ran earlier yesterday by a veteran who was appalled at what he was watching in Ferguson.

    • Bill Marvel

      Thanks, Eric. Required reading for all citizens.

  • CSP

    Eric or Tim, has anyone compiled a “master list,” for lack of a better phrase, enumerating the extent to which each DFW police force has so militarized itself, and, if so, to what extent? I’d love to ask my representative on my suburban city council about this issue if it appears my city’s police force has unnecessarily bulked up, and it’s my impression that many on the left and right are concerned about this trend.

    • Tim Rogers

      I’m not aware of any such list. And off the top of my head, I’m not sure how the question could be concisely put to each city’s police force.

  • CSP

    To clarify, I meant each suburban DFW police force, or at least for the larger suburbs.

  • Bippy Izod

    This scene has been building due to the constant and required coddling of our former Iraqi vets. We celebrate there kills. The more the better right. Even if they were shooting every other civilian and then placing a gun next to their dead body, it is still a kill, a notch in their belt and perhaps a book and a medal (and movie). Yet slowly we find out that the rash of PTSD, suicides, spousal and child abuse by the returning vets who will outright refuse an arrest, is due to the killing of innocent civilians, many children, many elderly and thousands upon thousands of them. HOW else could (or would) we have killed so many unarmed people? But by holy hell we will coddle them and let them get away with murder where ever they want as long as we can keep THIS Jessica Lynch lie buried.