In the NYT August 23 edition, the article, In Washington, Second Thoughts on Arming Police, Matt Apuzzo and Michael S. Schmidt report that President Obama has ordered a review concerning the policy of arming local police departments with military grade armor, mine resistant trucks, and automatic rifles.
It struck me that the focus was on the equipment provided and not on who uses it. in a post 911/post Iraq war US, federal grants to get military surplus to Local law enforcement served as a blank check for cities to transform their towns into military zones.
America got a glimpse of that gear over the past two weeks in Ferguson, Mo., as police officers in full body armor rode military-style vehicles, firing tear gas and pointing assault rifles at protesters. Like departments nationwide, the police in the St. Louis area have been outfitted by federal grants and military surplus.
Having equipment is not the same as having comprehensive training to use it. Many of the same soldiers now protecting our cities were war-trained ex military soldiers. the qualifications for law enforcement is two years military experience, a college degree, or a minimum of five years experience in law enforcement; the only qualification for many law enforcement officers is the two years military experience, https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070724003540AArWPuG
One reason there is such a great % of ex-military in LE is one minimum requirement of many departments is 2 years prior military experience, college degree or a minimum 5 years prior LE experience. Many applicants don’t have a degree or prior LE experience and can qualify with 2 years military.
More emphasis should be placed on training personnel, not the weapons. Remember, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.