Us vs Them

Isn’t it odd that some people stand out by the way that they dress or they are identified by what uniforms they are wearing. What makes them different from people on the streets or how do we know how to define a person by how they are dressed. DoD 1033 is also known as the Department of Defense Excess Property Program. This program provides surplus military equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies. Often times we look up to people that appear in certain uniforms. The gear and heavy equipment is effective in cases of todays days. The gear that is used makes a difference because criminals will fear police officers. They know that there is consequences coming there way.

Many people would agree that police are being too heavily armed and that not so much gear is needed in city streets. Looking at both perspectives made me realize that sometimes all this gear is necessary. You never know what situation a police officer will approach. One example was the the “North Hollywood shooting” that happened back in 1997. This hit them unexpectedly and they were no where near prepared for it either.“Leave it to the cops”, you say. But should the cops be going into a situation like that with nothing more than a layer of cotton uniform and a revolver to protect themselves and take down the bad guys?”(Shaw). Thats not all though, what do you do in a situation in which the criminal have better weapons  than the police do?

In the North Hollywood shooting there was lack of gear that the police officers had which gave the criminals more of an advantage. Although there only two criminal and a over a dozen police officers they still ran the show. The gear that they had compared to the gear that the officers had was a huge difference and this gave them more power over the situation. Police officers should have access to larger gear when they are confronted with larger situations. ”Or should they have to wait until a SWAT unit from an “appropriately large city” shows up, with the shooter mowing down third graders in the meantime”( Shaw). Anyone who has watch the clip of the North Hollywood shooting can now see that a “big” city or space is needed for a big incident to happen.

It is also important for the police officers to be in favor with the community and the area that they are around in most of their working hour. We all can agree that we would not like to hurt anyone that we know and see daily. Police officers have no choice but to have to handle any type of situation that gets out of control. Whether it is someone that they know or a part of their community, it is their job.”It is certainly to the benefit of the police to be in good standing with a cooperative community and to know the people they protect and serve, but they also deserve a fighting chance when the situation suddenly turns violent and ugly”(Shaw).  Police officers do serve to us but they also have to handle a situation in which they are putting their lives at risk as well.

On the other hand, we can agree that police officers do get a little out of hand with the equipment that is being carried. In the Paul Szoldra article it shows a picture of police dressed as if they were in the military and arrived in a Bearcat. Paul Szoldra was a retired U.S Marine. This really gives the wrong impression to the city people. Yes we can all agree that the Ferguson case was a dramatic case but it was not to the point where all this gear was  needed. It almost shows the people that they are treating them as if they were all criminals in a way.The gear that they exposed in the Ferguson case was out of pocket and it was not needed. This could have been because of lack of information on when to use this equipment.

When did it turn into the officers being against us? In the Ferguson case it is almost as if the officers were at war with the people.Not only because of how they were  dressed but in the way that they addressed the people as well. “ Bring it. You f***cking animals, bring it”(Szoldra), one police officer was  caught on video telling protesters. In this quote, they stated how the officers were approaching the people. This was not the only insult that the community was receiving from the officers. Most likely, it was just not caught on video. This is not right, but this can come from lack of training or knowing how to control a chaotic situation.

What can you do to be a part of this solution? Everyone has to contribute  if they want to make a change. If people are not okay with the way that police officers are handling situations, then maybe people should avoid situations from getting out of hand. It is only their job to get the situation under control and not always will it be in a nice way. This is the best resolution to the problem. “Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means”(Reagan).

Works Cited

Szoldra, Paul. “This Is The Terrifying Result Of The Militarization Of Police.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 12 Aug. 2014. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. <http://www.businessinsider.com/police-militarization-ferguson-2014-8>.

 

Shaw, Jazz.”The “militarization” of Police Was Not Only Inevitable, but Necessary – Hot Air.”HotAir.com. 16 Aug. 2014. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. <http://hotair.com/archives/2014/08/16/the-militarization-of-police-was-not-only-inevitable-but-necessary/>.

Ronald Reagan Quotes.”BrainyQuote. Xplore. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/r/ronald_reagan.html>.

Orlov, Rick “North Hollywood Shootout, 15 Years Later.” North Hollywood Shootout, 15 Years Later. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

<http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20120227/north-hollywood-shootout-15-years-later>.

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