It does however contribute to a town’s overall dystopian vibe however.
Police departments always want as much as they can get. For instance, many a small town in this country now owns an army surplus armored troop carrier. Half the time these vehicles are too big for the roads. But in the wake of Iraq likely hundreds of these behemoths found their way to our police departments.
The over weaponization of police does not usually reflect a healthy situation and likely, as this study points out, makes things less healthy in a community. People come to resent the police, more. A cop is one thing. A soldier is another.
SWAT armies in small towns are great examples of overreaching local government. Big fish in small ponds all over get to roll around in spiffy armored vehicles, flash military grade rifles, and generally just look as intimidating as they can. (The firms that supply this stuff know how to exploit this mentality too.)
This might be fun for some of the police. But it’s not that fun for the (entirely innocent) citizenry oftentimes.
Yes the criminals have gnarly weapons. And being a police officer can be an extremely difficult job. But things have gotten out of hand on the response side.
(From The Pacific Standard)
“Curtailing militarized police may be in the interest of both police and citizens,” concludes Jonathan Mummolo, an assistant professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University…
…”While SWAT teams arguably remain a necessary tool for violent emergency situations, restricting their use to those rare events may improve perceptions of police with little or no safety loss.”