Militarization in police

While law enforcement has long been a focal point of scrutiny, recent events such as the launch of the 1033 program, and a rise in media coverage of police brutality, have caught the attention of the public eye.

With the morality of the police being questioned, is it in the best interest of citizens that the same police force is being supplied with military grade weaponry?

Many people argue that this will give law enforcement too much power and fear that the mere placement of the weapons could turn national soil into a battleground.

“The advances in police militarization will make it less of a community and more of a dictatorship,” commented Khante Wright, a senior at North Springs.

“I think the cops have already taken too many liberties as it is,” remarked someone who wanted to remain anonymous.

The 1033 program is responsible for supplying local law enforcement agencies, including the Dunwoody and Sandy Springs police department, with over $5.1 billion worth of military equipment including armored vehicles, military aircraft, and cold war era rifles.

The program was designed to help counter illegal drug activities in the nation, but while it has  greatly increased the strength of America’s law enforcement, some believe it has also intimidated the people they are meant to protect.

Some people say their wariness of police officers comes from the August 9th shooting of Michael Brown.

On Saturday, August 9, 2014, a police officer responding to a convenience store robbery shot and killed 18 year old Michael Brown.

Predictably, protests both peaceful and violent have sprung up in support of Brown.

The protesters attempted to demonstrate their point but were often accompanied by looters and arsonists to which police responded with rubber bullets and tear gas.

The tension between the civilians and police force in Ferguson still remains after over three months and has grown since the grand jury decided not to indict the police officer, Darren Wilson.

People claim that police in Ferguson have used questionable amounts of force against activists during the protests, detaining reporters and protesters alike.

Due to a lack of trust in both police and civilians, a number of departments have looked into placing body cameras on officers to ensure that the members of both parties conduct themselves accordingly to the situation as well as retrieve solid proof if needed in court later on.