Police Departments Buying Military-Style Equipment


A $226,000 armored vehicle for the North Richland Hills, Tx., Police Department SWAT team arrived a few days ago to replace one the agency got in 1990, reports the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. Such armored vehicles are used by many law enforcement agencies in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Some police departments have assault rifles, noise-flash devices, and grenade launchers. Arlington, Tx., sought federal money for a drone aircraft.

Some criminal-justice experts are troubled by law enforcement agencies' growing use of military-style equipment. Rather than employ such equipment only in extreme situations, critics say, their use is becoming commonplace, leading police to use unnecessary force and intimidating residents. “We have been witnesses to a little-noticed but nonetheless momentous historical change – the traditional distinctions between military/police, war/law and internal/external security are rapidly blurring,” said criminal justice professor Peter Kraska, of Eastern Kentucky University.

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