This ‘militarization’, as it were comes in two forms.
Gear and attitudes.
The gear, its toys. Occasionally useful, if its needed, its needed immediately not waiting for it to be brought in from 50 miles away. We have learned much from the old days of SWAT and waiting for resolving the situation. In so many cases, waiting only allows for more victims. Columbine.
Attitudes are a different matter.
For years, despite the temporary upswing post-9/11, public attitudes towards the police has been poor at best. Now for the last 7 years, the police are the scapegoat of every scumbag despot including the potus. To blame for everything.
The defense when everyone is against you? Rally behind and stick with your own.
Right, wrong, indifferent, it is what it is. You cam trust those behind the badge, even those you don’t like, because its you against the bad guys.
Your average cop, doesn’t look at the public as the enemy but as potential victims.
Victims of the next DUI driver, victims of the next doper in need of a fix, victims of the next illegal who steals their identity, victims.
And you remember them, the high school coach who punches a student, the sex assault victims, the hit and run victims. You see them daily if you’re in a small enough town. You want to help and protect them all.
Suddenly, some idiot gets himself killed.
While only one cop may have been involved, every cop is corrupt, brutal and uncaring. Lumped together because of the badge.
It doesn’t mattet what the facts are and evidence is, the cops are to blame.
When everyone is against you, that’s all you see.
Us and them. Blue blood and everyone else.
The chance of laying down your life for another ‘brother’ is always there. Even one you don’t know, but you do because they’re ‘blue’. That family, that connection is seldom seen outside LE, Fire and the military.
The police are always there, willing to help.
Willing to sacrifice.
Even in places where they are looked at by some as a a bullet sponge.
Changing police attitudes takes effort from both direction and sides.
Its been getting better, more people are posting and reporting positive encounters, even when the cops don’t think anything of it, or that anyone is watching.
Want the police to be a part of the community? Invite them in.
They might surprise you.