New Report Shows That Militarization Of The American Police Does Not Reduce Crime

Date August 23, 2018

The militarization of the American police force has been a hotbed topic in recent years. For the most part, SWAT has come to employing methods erstwhile reserved for military units. One major concern raised by critics is that militarizing the police would alienate them from American communities.

Michael Dechev /

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Jonathan Mummolo, an assistant professor of politics and public affairs in a report, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, insists that members of the public are less likely to support the police if they appear overly aggressive.

the vast majority of SWAT deployments occur in connection with non-emergency scenarios, predominately to serve search warrants.

His work involved an assessment of the 8,200 SWAT deployments in the state of Maryland over a period of five years. In his conclusion, Mummolo says little need for SWAT engagement.

there is no evidence that acquiring a SWAT team lowers crime, or promotes officer safety…the benefits of increased deployments appear to be either small or nonexistent.

But is militarizing the police a completely bad idea? Security pro, Keith Shannon believes it may not be all bad. For starters, better-equipped police can handle emergency scenarios like riots without additional assistance. Also, officers with advanced training will have greater control over their firearms and know when it is essential to use them.

betto rodrigues /

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On the flip side, the general idea behind military training is to prepare officers to face the enemy and kill it if necessary. This ideology does not translate well into the American police force that is charged with the maintenance of law and order and apprehension of unruly citizens. That aside, the mere sight of a beat cop in full military gear in broad daylight can be a frightening sight.

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Some have argued that the engagement of SWAT can incite violence and that the use of heavily armed police officers in non-violent situations is a waste of resources. For the American police force, militarization is largely supported by surpluses from the military, everything from tactical equipment to vehicles.


Many former military officers also sign up with the police after leaving service, the idea being to transfer valuable skills and help make the police force better. But how much is too much? With a bleak history of violent crimes in America, it is unlikely that militarization will ever become a thing of the past.

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