SWAT and PPU Evidence of Increasing U.S. Police State

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Professor Peter B. Kraska has been researching the militarization of local police for many years. See here and here for some of his work and thought on this topic. He provides many formal and informal insights about the changed police culture.

SWAT raids are running at a vastly higher annual number than in the 1980s (from 3,000 to about 50,000). A PPU is a Police Paramilitary Unit. These have seen exponential growth:

“This militarization was evidenced by a precipitous rise and mainstreaming of PPUs. As of the late 1990s, about 89% of police departments in the United States serving populations of 50,000 people or more had a PPU, almost double of what existed in the mid-1980s. Their growth in smaller jurisdictions (agencies serving between 25 and 50,000 people) was even more pronounced. Currently, about 80% of small town agencies have a PPU; in the mid-1980s only 20% had them.”

When LRC writers mention U.S. police state, it is neither fiction nor imagination at work. The evidence for it is strong and significant.

10:56 am on May 28, 2014