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Whatever Happened to Peace Officers?

"So how did we go from “peace” officers to “police” officers to “law enforcement” officers anyway? How did we go from “protect and serve” to “escalate and harm”? And what is behind the militarization of police departments and the rise of the warrior cop, as one writer terms it?

Well, as Austrians and libertarians we should hardly be surprised, and we certainly don’t need a sociological study to understand what’s happening. The deterioration in police conduct, and the militarization of local police forces, quite simply and quite predictably mirrors the rise of the total state itself.

We know that state monopolies invariably provide worse and worse services for more and more money. Police services are no exception. When it comes to your local police, there is no shopping around, there is no customer service, and there is no choice. Without market competition, market price signals, and market discipline, government has no ability or incentive to provide what people really want, which is peaceful and effective security for themselves, their families, their homes, and their property. As with everything government purports to provide, the public wants Andy Griffith but ends up with the Terminator."


As someone in their 20s, this is very apparent to me. I've seen police officers be some of the biggest tramplers of rights time and time again. Speaking to older generations I find it hard to convey this to them, as they seem to think it is just a few bad apples making the rest look bad. I always looked at it the other way. It's the majority who are bad apples, giving the few who take the oath to the constitution they take serious a bad name.

Obviously there was a time the average citizen respected the work of police officers, or as they were once called peace officers. What do you guys think? Is it the excessive amount of laws on the books that create environment for police to run rampant? Or is this the inevitable outcome of a state-run "protection" department? I know way too many people who would rather not call police, than to deal with the headache that ensues when you do. Will private security firms fix this issue? Or is there a way to reign in rogue police officers who shoot and kill unarmed Americans on what seems like a daily basis? When police continually are acquitted of murder, or not even tried, it gives every cop out there a belief they can get away with it as well.

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Well I could be mistaken...

but I believe "peace officers" have been transformed into a militarized domestic force in preparation for the insurrection that is coming when the gvt. begins the final stages of implementation in their plan for the global new world order.

Of course, like I said, I could be mistaken.

I think all Americans have become less patient

over the years. That's maybe one factor. [We can thank television and movies for that. And we can't say we weren't warned: check out Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. P.S. Some of the rationale would apply to internet use as well, especially but not only computer games.) That book only looks at *non-content* related issues. There's also content. Another factor is that Media has gotten more violent over the years, explicit violence that helps to desensitize the population. Then there's the growing frustration with government - the national debt, taxes, regulations, unemployment, drugs/gangs, etc. So maybe instead of feeling repressed, frustrated, angry, hopeless, etc., some of them are using the job as an emotional outlet. So there are less patient, desensitized individuals with increasingly shorter attention spans, living in a society where problems are mounting, in an increasingly violent culture... and they have power.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

ChristianAnarchist's picture

Cops have changed..

In my almost 62 years I've seen the cops transform from someone you could really trust to someone you need to try very hard to avoid. Of course they always say that "Things have changed" and that they now have so much "danger" they face everyday. BUL**HIT!!! You check the statistics and you find that "law enforcement" isn't even in the top 10 most dangerous jobs. If you drill down into the fatalities that they do suffer you will find that most of them get killed in traffic (many times at their own fault) and many others in their gung-ho raids.

Beware the cult of "government"...

As My Wife Says

"Legalized Bullying"

"Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket."-Rothbard

The enforcement arm of the legislature

has always been the same...nothing's changed. No legal distinctintion between Peace/Police officers.

Many people are mistaken in their belief that the government works for them, and therefore cops work for them. This is incorrect. Cops/Police/Peace officers work to enforce the legislatures will upon society.

There was a time when almost 100% of the population thought of the police as being on their side, on their team. Beautiful manipulation.
But with the internet, the legal system and government are being exposed for what they truly are, an occupational force, just like every government that preceded it.

Propaganda and lies are being shattered and Americans are learning real civics for the first time in 4 generations. It is happening slowly, but it is happening.

I can't believe the number of well educated people who repeat nonsense they were taught as children: "We are the government" and "The government works for us" when neither could be further from the truth.

Government is composed of the lawmakers and the army of people they hire to enforce their will upon society. They occupy society with armed men to shape society according to their will. They do NOT work for you and can harm you with legal impunity. They control you, your stuff, and the terms of your agreements with others, and anything else they please. And the good old boys in blue will be there to make certain you comply.

Damn I love living in a free country.

Land of the sheep, home of

Land of the sheep, home of the slaves.

I've been beaten by cops. Had my property stolen by cops. Had things planted in my car by cops. I know the terrible institution we are forced to deal with. But unless we can come up with an alternative and prove it to be successful we will have to continue to deal with this out of control group of psychopaths. Too many people, even those who know what they're getting, could never imagine a society without law enforcement. It could very well work but I don't think it will ever be tried.


you nailed it.

There are an infinite number of alternatives to what we suffer under now,like you said, we need to draw up some different plans, and give it a go.