The American Civil Liberties Union has released the results of its new survey into the use of Swat teams by police forces across the country. It concludes that policing has become dangerously and unnecessarily militarized, literally so with equipment and strategies being imported directly from the US army.
“Law enforcement agencies are increasingly using paramilitary squads to search people’s homes for drugs,” the ACLU writes. It adds: “Neighborhoods are not war zones and our police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies.”
Research by Peter Kraska, a professor at Kentucky University, has tracked the exponential growth in the use of paramilitary tactics in the US. In the 1980s there were as few as 3,000 Swat raids a year, but by around 2005 that number had leapt to 45,000.
Such a rapid proliferation has been actively encouraged by the federal government, particularly by the Department of Homeland Security after 9/11, and by the Defense Department.
Editor’s Note: The growing police state is another excellent reason to be internationally diversified.