Police Militarization in Urban Areas: The Obscure War Against the Underprivileged and the Underclass

Daryl Meeks, National University

The politically stated war on crime and the Madison Avenue marketing of the drug epidemic in urban America served to change the breath and scope of urban policing. During the concluding 20th Century decade and at the onset of the 21st Century, urban residents were encapsulated by the police militarization of their communities. These resident's have become victims in their own communities, of an urban war being waged by a militarized police organization. This paper will examine the use of military tactics by urban police forces to maintain order in urban neigborhoods. This paper will also assess the effectiveness and applicability of this military model of urban policing. Special topics to include the evolution of urban policing, recruit indoctrination, the war on crime, public support for the war on crime, and post 911 policing will also be discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006