Increasingly, state and local police seem to be playing “army” instead of “cops and robbers.”

Over the last few weeks, I have written two articles highlighting the impact of federal militarization of state and local police.

In the first, I showed how local, state and federal law enforcement have increasingly morphed into one national police force, an unholy alliance sustained and incentivized by federal dollars, and homogenized through federal training programs.

The second article highlighted how, through partnerships with federal law enforcement agencies, local cops can essentially obtain a license to kill.

Increasingly, police look more like a national standing army then a local force serving and protecting the public.

Recently, economist and political commentator Robert Higgs made an astute observation illustrating just how deeply the militaristic conception of policing has entwined itself into the American psyche.

“Perhaps I am making something out of nothing, but I have been struck repeatedly in recent years by a certain English usage in the USA, especially in news reports: namely, the expression ‘police and civilians,’ as in ‘five police officers and four civilians were wounded in the shooting.’ Not to be overly punctilious, but the ordinary police ARE civilians, at least, they are supposed to be civilians. I strongly suspect that the usage I am noting here has arisen along with the growing militarization of the police at every level of government, especially since 9/11. This usage suggests that the police are not agents and protectors of the public, as they are portrayed in song, dance, and legend, but an occupying army present in the country to suppress the ordinary people and render them suitable putty in the hands of the rulers (as in references to the president as ‘the commander in chief of the USA,’ rather than ‘the commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces’).”

I find if difficult to argue with Higgs’ assessment. The federal government has drafted local peace officers to serve as soldiers in its “war on drugs” and the “war on terror.” Over the last several years, the mission of state and local cops has evolved from “serve and protect” to “command and control.”

The only way to reverse this perverse metamorphosis is to sever the direct ties between your local cops and the federal government.

To find out how, click HERE.

Mike Maharrey

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