TTAG reader Chip in South Florida writes:
I just had a job cross my desk that I found interesting and thought you, too, would get a kick out of it. The Chief of Police of my fine town asked me to print this poster for a display he is assembling. It’s a neat picture showing the general progression of Police from the late 1700’s to now. It starts on the left with the Rattle Watch from the 1700’s, then Officer, Marshall, et cetera up to the 50’s with the motorcycle cop and then on up to a SWAT team of today. It is a rather neat piece of artwork, well done overall. Now go back and look at the graphic again but pay attention to the stance of each presentation. From the left . . .
The Rattle Watch with his rattle raised in hue and cry, pistol at the ready if needed. Ever watchful, ever ready! The Marshal has his rifle but his stance is casual, easy going. He has a nice mustache. The Patrolman of the 20’s is alert but still generally friendly looking with his dog. Here is where it gets really interesting . . .
The Detective of the 60’s! Look at that action forward stance and the Sgt Friday face! Shield out front, handgun at the ready to take down the bad guys! I suspect the author of this particular piece of artwork is a Detective, or maybe married to one. Or they just have a really deep love of the television show Dragnet.
Still going left to right and past the action of the Just the Facts 60’s Detective we are next presented with a State Trooper from the 70’s. Calm, cool, collected, don’t mess with the hat. Notice the para-military look of the uniform and the military at-ease stance? Is this the beginning of the militarization of the Police? I mean overtly with the uniform and military posturing.
Lets go one more, a presentation of City Police and the tag indicates 90’s. Yea diversity because we have a woman! But not so fast, she has her hand on her service weapon. She isn’t taking nothing from nobody and she has a gun and knows how to use it!
And then the last presentation…. SWAT from the 00’s. Helmet, ‘assault’ riffle, plate armor, tactical thigh holster with a handgun, knee pads. I’m sure there is a no-knock warrant somewhere in one of the tactical pouches stuck to all that Velcro.
To be fair to the presentation of the artist, this is something done by Police for Police. It will mean something completely different to those on the other side of the Thin Blue Line. But it does raise some questions.
Like if the overall crime rate is going down, why is the militarization of the Police going up? Have the criminals changed so much from the 60’s to now that the Police need so much more armor? Didn’t the bank robbers on the 70’s run in with some guns, grab all the cash and then run out? Don’t the bank robbers of today still do that?
Sure in the movies it takes entire the ENTIRE Police Force to surround the Nakitomi Plaza while the bad guys armed with anti-tank ordinance and near unlimited ammunition clear-out the impenetrable safe on the 37th floor. That is a movie.
Here in the real world, the bank robbers are long gone by the time the first officer arrives and then needs to look at the camera’s to figure out who to go look for. Hardly something worthy of firing up the Mobile Command Center and SWAT Team.
Meh. What do I know? I guess if I had a Mobile Command Center I would want to play with it any chance I got. Those things DO have a PA system so I could even play my own theme song as I arrive! Enjoy the linked graphic. I know I did. Now, for me, back to the printer to finish this project.
Chip in South Florida
I live where everyone else vacations.