An Introduction to Police Militarization

  • Frederick W. TurnerII
  • Bryanna Fox
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Criminology book series (BRIEFSCRIMINOL)


This chapter describes the history and use of SWAT teams, the use of DHS grant money, and the Pentagon’s 1033 Program to allow police departments (PDs) across the country to acquire military-grade equipment and weaponry in a practice otherwise known as police militarization. In this chapter, the history of police militarization is reviewed, along with significant events such as the “War on Drugs” and “War on Terror” that have shaped law enforcement operations in the United States. The research was intended to obtain a better grasp of the perceptions of police militarization among key stakeholders to include Congress, police executives, and police officers and how these perceptions may perhaps shape future policy and practice.


Police militarization Policing 1033 Program SWAT Military 


  1. Balko, R. (2013, August 7). Rise of the warrior cop: Is it time to reconsider the militarization of American policing? The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from
  2. Bendery, J., & Grim, R. (2014, August 14). Here’s how lawmakers use the war on terror to defendpolice militarization. Huffington Post. Retrieved from
  3. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). (2018). Law enforcement support office. Retrieved from
  4. Else, D. (2014, August 28). The “1033 program,” Department of Defense support to law enforcement. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved from
  5. Hall, A., & Coyne, C. (2013, Spring). The militarization of U.S. domestic policing. The Independent Review, 17(4), 485–504. Retrieved from
  6. Holland, S., & Shalal, A. (2014, August 23). Obama orders review of U.S. police use of military hardware. Reuters. Retrieved from
  7. Kraska, P. (2001). Militarizing the American criminal justice system: The changing roles of the armed forces and the police. Boston, MA: Northeastern University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Kraska, P. (2005). Researching the police-military blur: Lessons learned. Police Forum, 14(3), 1–11.Google Scholar
  9. Kraska, P. (2007, December 13). Militarization and policing: Its relevance to 21st century police. Policing, 1(4), 501–513. Scholar
  10. Kraska, P. B., & Kappeler, V. E. (1997). Militarizing American police: The rise and normalization of paramilitary units. Social Problems, 44(1), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO). (2014, September 11). About the 1033 Program. Defense Logistics Agency. Retrieved from
  12. Luscombe, B. (2017, June 8). 8 questions with David Brown, former Dallas Police Chief. Time. Retrieved from
  13. McCaskill, C. (2014, August 14). McCaskill in Ferguson: Time to “demilitarize this situation” [Press release]. Retrieved from
  14. Paul, R. (2014, August 14). Rand Paul: We must demilitarize the police. Time. Retrieved from
  15. President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. (2015). Final report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Washington, DC: Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services. Retrieved from Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick W. TurnerII
    • 1
  • Bryanna Fox
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate SchoolKeiser UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA
  2. 2.Department of CriminologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

Personalised recommendations