Preserving law and order is an essential role of government. The ongoing demonstrations and subsequent police crackdowns in Ferguson, Missouri have sparked a debate about whether military-style police tactics are the right approach.
“Although introduced into police departments to deal with exceptional circumstances,” Heritage Foundation legal fellow Evan Bernick reports, “the use of military hardware and tactics soon expanded.”
He continues: “While enforcing laws and stopping violent criminals are essential, routine use of military hardware and tactics in nonviolent situations has inflicted substantial unnecessary damage on persons and property.”
“We need to take steps to scale back the use of military hardware and tactics in contexts where they are plainly inappropriate while ensuring that law enforcement can still respond with overwhelming force when necessary.”
Do you think police should routinely use military hardware and tactics?