Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Are some American police forces more an occupying army than a civil institution?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Are some American police forces more an occupying army than a civil institution?

    To what extent are some American police forces more like an occupying army than a civil institution?

    Normally I’m posting on the WWII sub-forum, but occasionally I’ll make forays (suppose it should be ‘sorties’ on what is essentially at military history site hey?) into the Current Events or History Library forums.

    As I’ve explained (ad infinitum some posters would say!), now I’ve retired, I’m hoping to do some assistant-tutoring at tertiary level sometime in the next 237 years.

    As well as history, I may just get a chance at something in Political Science / International Relations.
    I’m very interested in the areas of international security and police studies.

    Back in the seventies I remember the topic of American policing methodologies and police / security / gun culture being briefly but very vigorously debated in some tutes I helped out with.

    Recent events in the US involving police shooting (essentially within the black community) most recently of course the murder of a man by a police officer in Charleston have revived and provoked my interest in this area.

    In short the ‘style’ of American policing outside ‘mainstream’, middle-class, essentially Caucasian milieus looks alien and very threatening too many non-American observers.

    The fear, mistrust, loathing, the dysfunctional and fractious relationship between some local police forces and certain communities creates the impression that, as I said on my thread title, some American police forces often seem closer to an occupying army than a properly constituted, respected and lawfully valid national institution.
    Just after the latest incident, a typical news website I consulted had numerous comments from posters saying for example, American Police are ‘armed, ignorant and trigger happy’, ‘on a power trip’, a virtual ‘law’ unto themselves’ etc.

    Others suggest US police forces in same jurisdictions are politicized (robustly right of centre, elected Police leaders in the ‘County’ system!?), becoming increasingly militarized and either consciously or sub-consciously racist.

    I realize if course this of course, may be grossly generalized stereo-typing, but the image is very difficult to shake.

    I’m interested in some input from US posters, especially those with current or past police-force service or alternately experiences interacting (positively or not!) with police.
    Sorry for such long OP but as I said I need some current (the early ‘70’s was forty years ago after all!) background examples.

    Regards lodestar

  • #2
    No. However, some people do view them this way.
    Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

    Comment


    • #3
      If you write up a well thought out definition of 'occupying army' you'll have your answer.
      “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
      “To talk of many things:
      Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
      Of cabbages—and kings—
      And why the sea is boiling hot—
      And whether pigs have wings.”
      ― Lewis Carroll

      Comment


      • #4
        I am inclined to think that there may be something to what you say. Many of our Missouri policemen are members of National Guard Military Police units as I understand it. So I think that those folks may have a more militaristic attitude toward policing than not. I wonder how many instructors in Police Academies are members or former members of such National Guard units.

        RE racial attitudes: I think that police just reflect their blue collar backgrounds.

        This is stereotyping I know, but I have known several women who were married to policemen and in most cases those marriages were not happy—there seems to be a certain authoritarian attitude that runs in policemen that they bring into a marriage. I understand firemen are far better husbands. I admit I have a limited acquaintance with those sorts of marriages, only a few ladies, but I do remember a spirited discussion once on the subject back in the 90s probably, and it really stuck with me.
        Homo homini lupus

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jannie View Post
          I am inclined to think that there may be something to what you say. Many of our Missouri policemen are members of National Guard Military Police units as I understand it. So I think that those folks may have a more militaristic attitude toward policing than not. I wonder how many instructors in Police Academies are members or former members of such National Guard units.

          RE racial attitudes: I think that police just reflect their blue collar backgrounds.

          This is stereotyping I know, but I have known several women who were married to policemen and in most cases those marriages were not happy—there seems to be a certain authoritarian attitude that runs in policemen that they bring into a marriage. I understand firemen are far better husbands. I admit I have a limited acquaintance with those sorts of marriages, only a few ladies, but I do remember a spirited discussion once on the subject back in the 90s probably, and it really stuck with me.
          As a member of the MO Army Guard for 20+ years, yes there is overlap, however that numbers in 2-3 dozen or so.

          Being in the Military does not increase you propensity to thinking in a 'militaristic' way. Not sure what that even means.
          “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
          “To talk of many things:
          Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
          Of cabbages—and kings—
          And why the sea is boiling hot—
          And whether pigs have wings.”
          ― Lewis Carroll

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by lodestar View Post
            To what extent are some American police forces more like an occupying army than a civil institution?

            Normally I’m posting on the WWII sub-forum, but occasionally I’ll make forays (suppose it should be ‘sorties’ on what is essentially at military history site hey?) into the Current Events or History Library forums.

            As I’ve explained (ad infinitum some posters would say!), now I’ve retired, I’m hoping to do some assistant-tutoring at tertiary level sometime in the next 237 years.

            As well as history, I may just get a chance at something in Political Science / International Relations.
            I’m very interested in the areas of international security and police studies.

            Back in the seventies I remember the topic of American policing methodologies and police / security / gun culture being briefly but very vigorously debated in some tutes I helped out with.

            Recent events in the US involving police shooting (essentially within the black community) most recently of course the murder of a man by a police officer in Charleston have revived and provoked my interest in this area.

            In short the ‘style’ of American policing outside ‘mainstream’, middle-class, essentially Caucasian milieus looks alien and very threatening too many non-American observers.

            The fear, mistrust, loathing, the dysfunctional and fractious relationship between some local police forces and certain communities creates the impression that, as I said on my thread title, some American police forces often seem closer to an occupying army than a properly constituted, respected and lawfully valid national institution.
            Just after the latest incident, a typical news website I consulted had numerous comments from posters saying for example, American Police are ‘armed, ignorant and trigger happy’, ‘on a power trip’, a virtual ‘law’ unto themselves’ etc.

            Others suggest US police forces in same jurisdictions are politicized (robustly right of centre, elected Police leaders in the ‘County’ system!?), becoming increasingly militarized and either consciously or sub-consciously racist.

            I realize if course this of course, may be grossly generalized stereo-typing, but the image is very difficult to shake.

            I’m interested in some input from US posters, especially those with current or past police-force service or alternately experiences interacting (positively or not!) with police.
            Sorry for such long OP but as I said I need some current (the early ‘70’s was forty years ago after all!) background examples.

            Regards lodestar
            Give us all a break.

            This is one of the most ridiculous things that I have ever seen written on this forum in the six years I have been a member.

            Sincerely,
            M
            We are not now that strength which in old days
            Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
            Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
            To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Combat Engineer View Post
              As a member of the MO Army Guard for 20+ years, yes there is overlap, however that numbers in 2-3 dozen or so.

              Being in the Military does not increase you propensity to thinking in a 'militaristic' way. Not sure what that even means.
              "The veterans we're trying to reach out to, they have the set of skills, the discipline and the training where they would easily transition from the military to civilian law enforcement," said San Francisco police Officer Gregory Pak, who manned an information table at a Hiring Our Heroes job fair in Walnut Creek in April, and on the USS Hornet in Alameda in August. "It's a win-win."

              For Yeffiry Disla, 38, who is preparing for civilian life after spending four years in the Marines and 15 years in the Army, it's more like a marriage of convenience.

              "(Working as) a cop would be my fallback if I can't do something else," said Disla, who has served three deployments of 10 months or longer to Iraq and Afghanistan, "simply because I was an infantryman and those are my skills. Anything you want to see in a soldier, you want to see in a policeman."
              http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs...ice-force.html
              Homo homini lupus

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Massena View Post
                Give us all a break.

                This is one of the most ridiculous things that I have ever seen written on this forum in the six years I have been a member.

                Sincerely,
                M
                I agree!
                Trying hard to be the Man, that my Dog believes I am!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I wouldn't go so far as to call them an occupying force...much of what you see is the result of sensationalism in the media, including all the movies about cops that have been done over the years. Most cops are just on the job each day and every cop I've ever talked to said they've never fired their weapon at anyone, even veterans of 15-20 years of service. The 99% of cops who don't shoot anyone aren't on the news, so you aren't exposed to them. There is some truth to the idea that police forces have some similarities to the military that may perpetuate the idea that they're more of an 'army':
                  1) Many if not most cops are ex-military in a lot of police forces
                  2) They wear uniforms and carry guns
                  3) Some police department have academies, more or less like a 'boot camp' for new trainees. Not sure if this is as common as it was a couple of decades ago.
                  4) Some police forces have a quasi-military structure, with captains, lieutenants, and sergeants similar to the military. They also are awarded medals for valor. To be fair, though, this seems to be the logical way to organize a police force and it's also similar to the way boy scouts and other organizations are structured.

                  Cops, in my limited experience dealing with them, seem to develop a clanish attitude over time...an 'us' versus 'them' viewpoint that I think they develop due to the stresses of the job and the very frequent criticism they are subject to. In some cases like the one in North Carolina the criticism seems perfectly legitimate, but in many cases it's not. There's been a long campaign by the left in the media and in the judicial system to limit the tools cops have to perform their jobs, so they tend to lean right and I think this also fosters the 'us against the world' type of attitude some of them have. As far as racism, cops are no more or less racist than anyone else but the ones who are assigned to neighborhoods, precincts or divisions that are predominantly black or hispanic see all the negative things that the people in those areas do, so in my opinion this may foster negative views of those people in their minds...from what I understand, though, it doesn't matter too much if the cop is black, white or hispanic they still develop the attitude toward those people even if they are of the same race. Personally I would argue that almost all cops are professionals who do the best job they can given the limited tools they have to work with, and they do so with no media attention and little appreciation. The few who end up shooting someone are the ones who get all the attention. At the exact same time one bad cop was shooting a guy in North Carolina, thousands of good cops were quietly and professionally doing their job.

                  Last thing, since this is getting long: if you want to experience some truly bad cops why don't you go hang out in Mexico for a while? In the US people call the cops when they need help...in Mexico the cops are why you need help half the time and there's no one else to call. I'm sure lots of other countries have police forces just as bad if not worse. Every friend and family member I have would call the cops without hesitation and they'd be very surprised if they ever got less than professional behavior from the responding officers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You're confusing skills that transfer from the military to a civilian occupation to some kind of militaristic thought pattern. Not the same at all.

                    So take a step back and define what you mean by a militaristic mindset. What does that mean?
                    “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
                    “To talk of many things:
                    Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
                    Of cabbages—and kings—
                    And why the sea is boiling hot—
                    And whether pigs have wings.”
                    ― Lewis Carroll

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A military background doesn't make cops "militaristic". It culls out a huge swath of the population that can't hack the hours, bullshit, and need for physical fitness among other things. The military already seeks this type of person. ....naturally they trend towards law enforcement after service. Think about what cops actually do. It's hours of boredom, and then you have to make life altering decisions under high stress and possibly while fighting. ...maybe for your life. Most civilians can't do that. There is also the camaraderie that doesn't translate well to the civilian mindset. ...rrelying on someone to have your back when the whole trailer park is coming down on you.

                      Our state probation office only hires college graduates. ...almost none with any military or other Le experience. They have a ridiculous turnover rate....and a high level of issues relating to performance of their younger officers.
                      Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jannie View Post
                        I am inclined to think that there may be something to what you say. Many of our Missouri policemen are members of National Guard Military Police units as I understand it. So I think that those folks may have a more militaristic attitude toward policing than not. I wonder how many instructors in Police Academies are members or former members of such National Guard units.

                        RE racial attitudes: I think that police just reflect their blue collar backgrounds.

                        This is stereotyping I know, but I have known several women who were married to policemen and in most cases those marriages were not happy—there seems to be a certain authoritarian attitude that runs in policemen that they bring into a marriage. I understand firemen are far better husbands. I admit I have a limited acquaintance with those sorts of marriages, only a few ladies, but I do remember a spirited discussion once on the subject back in the 90s probably, and it really stuck with me.
                        Geez, that could be said about anyone. Have any scientific evidence of this?
                        My worst jump story:
                        My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
                        As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
                        No lie.

                        ~
                        "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
                        -2 Commando Jumpmaster

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Steve573 View Post
                          I wouldn't go so far as to call them an occupying force...much of what you see is the result of sensationalism in the media, including all the movies about cops that have been done over the years. Most cops are just on the job each day and every cop I've ever talked to said they've never fired their weapon at anyone, even veterans of 15-20 years of service. The 99% of cops who don't shoot anyone aren't on the news, so you aren't exposed to them. There is some truth to the idea that police forces have some similarities to the military that may perpetuate the idea that they're more of an 'army':
                          1) Many if not most cops are ex-military in a lot of police forces
                          2) They wear uniforms and carry guns
                          3) Some police department have academies, more or less like a 'boot camp' for new trainees. Not sure if this is as common as it was a couple of decades ago.
                          4) Some police forces have a quasi-military structure, with captains, lieutenants, and sergeants similar to the military. They also are awarded medals for valor. To be fair, though, this seems to be the logical way to organize a police force and it's also similar to the way boy scouts and other organizations are structured.

                          Cops, in my limited experience dealing with them, seem to develop a clanish attitude over time...an 'us' versus 'them' viewpoint that I think they develop due to the stresses of the job and the very frequent criticism they are subject to. In some cases like the one in North Carolina the criticism seems perfectly legitimate, but in many cases it's not. There's been a long campaign by the left in the media and in the judicial system to limit the tools cops have to perform their jobs, so they tend to lean right and I think this also fosters the 'us against the world' type of attitude some of them have. As far as racism, cops are no more or less racist than anyone else but the ones who are assigned to neighborhoods, precincts or divisions that are predominantly black or hispanic see all the negative things that the people in those areas do, so in my opinion this may foster negative views of those people in their minds...from what I understand, though, it doesn't matter too much if the cop is black, white or hispanic they still develop the attitude toward those people even if they are of the same race. Personally I would argue that almost all cops are professionals who do the best job they can given the limited tools they have to work with, and they do so with no media attention and little appreciation. The few who end up shooting someone are the ones who get all the attention. At the exact same time one bad cop was shooting a guy in North Carolina, thousands of good cops were quietly and professionally doing their job.

                          Last thing, since this is getting long: if you want to experience some truly bad cops why don't you go hang out in Mexico for a while? In the US people call the cops when they need help...in Mexico the cops are why you need help half the time and there's no one else to call. I'm sure lots of other countries have police forces just as bad if not worse. Every friend and family member I have would call the cops without hesitation and they'd be very surprised if they ever got less than professional behavior from the responding officers.
                          I agree with most of this. Two notes. One....it's south Carolina. ...

                          Two.....Most of us hang out off duty with other cops or fellow professionals. I work out with cops and firemen. I hang out with cops, lawyers, and medical professionals. We seek those with similar interests and lifestyle. And hanging out with the average civilian has required me to constantly defend my profession.....since civilians often consider cops by the acts of others states away. We get tired of it. ....we don't judge bartenders as assholes because we had to tackle one on a traffic stop when they took a swing. ....so in essence civilians considering us as "tthose guys" has created the attitude of "us vs them".
                          Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As for the op....

                            Yes. Sometimes we do feel like an occupying army. There are neighborhoods that don't want us. .A whole chunk of society glorifies killing us. We're vilified for doing anything. ...or nothing. So yeah. ...In some ways it resembles Iraq.
                            Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Another one of these threads.


                              No, I am one of those none Americans and I don't see American cops being militarized. In France I saw There paramilitary police and walking around with assault rifles.

                              He'll in SA we have proper military trained police with military grade hardware.





                              So until a US police agency operates a tactical team where all are Parbat qualified and operate heavy duty military gear like a 20mm autocanon I don't see them being any more well armerd than a SA cop

                              you think you a real "bleep" solders you "bleep" plastic solders don't wory i will make you in to real "bleep" solders!! "bleep" plastic solders

                              CPO Mzinyati

                              Comment

                              Latest Topics

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X