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From Warrior Cops to Community Police: A Former Chief on How We Can Turn Back the Tide of Militarization


From Warrior Cops to Community Police: A Former Chief on How We Can Turn Back the Tide of Militarization

Norm Stamper

You’re in the kitchen. It’s a Saturday morning, still dark outside. Your partner, three-year-old son, and the family dog are all sound asleep at the back of the house. You’ve put the coffee pot on, are making sandwiches—a trip to the lake is planned, your son’s first fishing trip.

Without warning, the pre-dawn quiet is shattered as your front door flies off its hinges, followed by back-to-back explosions and blinding light. Your local police department calling, decked out in cammies, ballistic helmets, and full-body armor, brandishing M4 and M16 rifles.


well said, norm. just this evening friends and i held a lively discussion over item #5. sadly, the tentacles associated with our now-infamous drug war are far-reaching, beginning at the source, the weapons manufacturing industry. sadly, that source also impacts 1 thru 4. how to overcome the fear brought to our doors and sidewalks by out-of-control cops, many suffering with the gun-badge-god syndrome is a challenge. and that doesn’t even include the politics of it all.


About those recommendations: Well, good luck with all that. The sad fact is, America’s loony right wing – fueled by “consultants” getting filthy rich on tax dollars – has expanded after “Nazifying” the U.S. military and now is busy Nazifying the nation’s police departments. Imagine 1940 Germany funded by printing presses creating money out of thin air – a society plagued by drug-addled morons who commit so much crime that the public feels obliged to tolerate the Nazification going on all around them. Actually there is no solution to all this, and it will end badly, probably in global war. I would strongly advise young people in America to move abroad, to quieter, more civilized nations. There are a few left.


The Richmond CA police chief has instituted community policing, and our violent crime numbers have gone way down. The police know the residents in the district they patrol, and that makes a huge difference, in many ways. Our police chief was invited to Ferguson to advise them last Fall. Richmond also has the Office of Neighborhood Safety, where former prisoners work with gang leaders to show them another way to live and to handle disputes. I am very proud of all this.

The militaristic approach that the US govt supports by giving local govts military equipment that must be used within a year by the police must stop! Thank you to the former police chief who wrote this article, for his honesty and courage to come forward. We must let our local govts know what we want and need.


There is profit to be made by this militarization. Someone has to buy all those toys and that someone is you and me. Our taxes, local and federal, buy those toys. Those who profit lobby mightily to arm law enforcement agencies to the teeth. Certainly weapon envy among agencies contributes to the mix. Few among us would not argue that our tax dollars should be spent on more valuable causes. Unfortunately, many have accepted the militarization as the new normal rather than a cancer upon democratic principles.


Sure, we can all move to … someplace else. Or… we might consider getting off our knees and instead of crawling for the exit, own up to our responsibility. Democracy is not a spectator sport.