Police Level Equipment Essay

Submitted By harristurpin
Words: 3824
Pages: 16

Introduction The United States Police Forces of the 21st century are armed with the weaponry of our military and lack the experience and training to use them effectively. The US’s police are antique in their policing fashion overly equipped for domestic issues, and are striving to create a power state in which the law enforcement is becoming a task force equipped to Beat and Retreat (Balko, Radley. Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print. 2014) rather than “Protect and Serve”. Together, the military equipment and tactics portray, the police officers of the (U.S.) as oppressors, and a domestic threat to the citizens of the US. The average officer must be disarmed of all lethal weaponry. Firearms and tactical equipment shall only be used in the case of an extreme emergency. Police have become an oppressive force and must be disarmed for the betterment of society.

The History of Policing
Rome, arguably the most powerful civilization in the Classical Period and the final empire before the Dark Ages, had a formal police. These watchmen were called vigiles, or more properly, Vigiles Urbani or Cohortes Vigilum, which is Latin for “Urban Watchmen” or “Cohorts of Watchmen.” Vigiles started out as privately owned slaves,and evolved into a formal police and fire fighting force by the time of Augustus. Vigiles were used as night watchmen to stop burglars and runaway slaves. (Tacitus, Cornelius. Complete Works of Tacitus. N.p.: Modern Lib., 1942. Print.) Vigiles were lightly armed men, mostly armed with buckets full of water for putting out fires and a knife for policing matters. In the case of an invasion or major unrest, the vigiles were armed with spears, shields and light armor. Of course, this was only in times of great trouble or if a legion was passing through. the purpose of a vigile was not to control the people, but to uphold the law. This system can be seen as the beginning of modern policing before it was lost to the chaos of the Dark Ages. A vigile is an extremely rudimentary version of what a police officer (at modern standards) should be. (Tacitus, Cornelius. Complete Works of Tacitus. N.p.: Modern Lib., 1942. Print.) The next stage of public policing was the bobby of the British Empire. A police force was commenced in 1829 by Sir Robert Peel. Sir Peel lends his name to the bobbies, because, ya know. Robert. The initial purpose of the bobbies was to keep the peace amongst the local populace. They expanded their powers to law enforcement and arrest rights. Officers were equipped with tall, ridiculous helmets, a whistle, a lamp, handcuffs and a weighted baton. We find that the bobbies were not as well armed as the vigiles were. That is because the overall danger of the world was less so. 1800’s Britain had a 0% chance of Germanic invasion. (Dorset, Ron. "Directory." The British Bobby. Ron Dorset, 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 28 Nov. 2014.)
They are seen as the predecessor of modern policing due to their calmer outlook on crime due to the face they didn’t carry lethal weapons. This is contradicted by the fact that American police forces have military grade weapons (addressed later in the document). Bobbies are the lower class of policing. Not completely military as today’s police, and less so than the vigiles of Rome. It was an adequate form of policing for that time. Finally, we come to today’s police. These brutes, for lack of a better word, were formed in the 1980’s at the beginning of Program 1033 (see in section IX). Modern police have the best equipment out of all the aforementioned forces. It is safe to say it is because of the progression of science and society. Officers of today are outfitted with radios, body cams, a 9mm pistol, a flashlight, handcuffs, a bulletproof vest, a police cruiser with a long range radio as well as larger firearms in the trunk. This raises a pertinent question: Why do the police of today, when we have less violence and trouble than we