Militarization of Police
The Safe Street & Crime Control Act of 1968 is often cited as the beginning of modern escalation of military equipment.
Military contractors, anticipating the end to the Viet Nam war, were looking for new markets. The 1033 Program was created as part of the National Defense Authorization
Act (NDAA) of 1997 to transfer excess military equipment fo civilian law enforcement agencies.
Increased militarization has coincided with the springing up of privately run police training facilities. One of them in St. Louis is 0311 Tactical Solutions which boasts that it instills a “warrior mindset.”
There are 50,000 SWAT raids annually in the US. Only 7% of these raids were for hostage situations, barricaded suspects, and active shooters. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) has a combined mobile reserve unit and SWAT team. The mobile reserve unit is commonly known as the “jump out squad.” From 2012-2018, only one half of one per cent of SLMPD SWAT actions were for hostage situations, barracaded suspect and active shooters.
The increasing escalation of the use of military equipment, training and SWAT teams has led to repeated civil liberty violations. In St. Louis we have witnessed these abuses during the Ferguson Uprising and the Stockley Verdict protests.
View full Militarization presentation here.