There is a craze in America about the militarization of SWAT taking the nation by storm. Events in places like Ferguson, Missouri and in New York rock the nation as those who would push their agendas descend upon the population ready to strike after a tragedy, feeding on the distress of the many. Because of the shooting of Darren Wilson in Fergusson, and the actions of the police thereafter to stop the ensuing riots, naysayers of law enforcement are claiming that America’s SWAT forces are becoming more militarized. Whilst it is true that SWAT teams around the country are receiving newer technology, they are also receiving the training to use the equipment that they requisition.
The main difference is between a patrol officer and a SWAT operator is that while a patrol officer is able to bring a heavy weapon of some sort, a SWAT operator will have spent hundreds of hours on the range with his teammates and his their own practicing with their weapons and equipment to make sure that they are able to do their job no matter the situation. It is true that specifically during the events of the Fergusson riots that some SWAT operators acted against code, but that is to be expected. It is impossible for a group to act monolithic. In every group there will be a “vocal minority”. The vocal minority usually represents the worst that group has to offer, but also present themselves more prominently than the rule followers. I ask that everyone take everything they read about a malicious police officer with a grain of salt but at the same time expect nothing of anyone in a field which is so reliant on the actions of the individual, but the solidarity of the many.