The Arsenal Of Destruction: The History Of Policing In America: An Introduction

By Roger J. Katz & Stephen L. D’Andrilli

When Did Police Become This
The militarization and federalization of police forces is not a recent occurrence. It isn’t a singular event. And, it isn’t an anomaly.
Arbalest Quarrel
Arbalest Quarrel

New York –-(  The militarization and federalization of police forces is not a recent occurrence. It isn’t a singular event. And, it isn’t an anomaly.

It’s a calculated strategy through which the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Defense (DOD) and Justice (DOJ) on behalf of powerful, secretive, sinister, ruthless forces both within the United States and outside it seek to undermine the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and bring an end to our Republic. Once the Second Amendment of our Bill of Rights topples, the other Nine Amendments will fall of their own accord. In the absence of our sacred Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution will have lost a crucial leg upon which the very structure of our free Republic stands.

Never, since its inception in the 18th Century, has the Bill of Rights suffered a more ferocious assault upon its sacred principals than in the 21st Century – hardly an Age of Enlightenment.


You may have heard of the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, among others. The mainstream media (MSM) won’t talk about these groups. The MSM won’t investigate the aims and goals of these groups.  The mainstream media won’t discuss how these groups work secretly to coordinate foreign and domestic policies; how these groups manipulate public perception; how these groups manufacture lies; how these groups infiltrate the institutions of this Country. The MSM won’t discuss these matters at all, won’t even mention them. The mainstream media won’t do this because the MSM is an instrument of these groups.

Still, the public can obtain an inkling of the machinations of these groups: the strategies they employ to control society: the arsenal of destruction.

One strategy is the militarization and federalization of the police forces in this Country.


In the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014, the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee, held a public hearing on September 9, 2014. Representatives of DHS, DOD, and Department of Justice (DOJ) offered testimony. Police use of military equipment was the subject of the hearing. The topic of the hearing may seem banal. The import of it isn’t. Apart from “SWAT” teams – the creation and purpose of which raises some interesting issues of its own – why, generally, would rank and file police officers, operating in thousands of police forces across the Country, need military equipment: sniper rifles, night vision goggles, armored vehicles, fully automatic weaponry, military uniforms and military armor?

Today, the subject of militarization and federalization of police in American society is viewed alongside discussions of police brutality, race relations, “broken windows” theory,  Fourth Amendment privacy rights, and Fourth Amendment privacy concerns – matters that reflect and encompass policing strategies, theories, philosophies, and topics of recent vintage, extending from the mid-twentieth century, through the first decade of the 21st – up to this very moment.

But, to understand how we got to this point we must grasp the historical role and function of police in American society. For, you shall see, the militarization and federalization of civilian police forces is not simply a matter of discerning changes in police equipment. It is more – much more.


It may seem a trifling matter, even quaint, to ask this salient question. After all, every community in America has a police department of some kind and, seemingly, always had a police department. The public accepts concepts such as ‘State police power,’ ‘police departments,’ ‘policing,’ and ‘police officers’ as “givens,” without need for definitive explication or even a cursory explanation.

But, if you stop to think about it – really stop to think about it – you begin to realize the need to ask a slew of questions that the MSM does not ask and does not investigate and, so, does not try to answer.

Why do we have police officers and police departments at all? What is their purpose in society? How did they come to be? How did the concept of ‘the State’s police power’ come into being?  Does the notion of ‘police power’ reside only in the individual States? Or, does the ‘police power’ also reside with the Federal Government? If that power only resides in the individual States, how did that power come to be transferred to the Federal Government? Was it through subterfuge? Did the individual States willingly sell their “soul” to the Federal Government in exchange for military hardware? To whom do the police agencies of the individual States really answer? What was the role of policing in colonial America? Did the public itself serve, at one time, as “the police?” If so, at what point did policing transform into an independent segment or organ of society and why? What was the original function of policing in American society? What was policing supposed to accomplish? Once policing became a unique profession, whom did the police serve? How did policing evolve? What is the function and role of the police today? Is the primary role of the police today one of protecting the public from transgressors? Or, is the primary role of police one of protecting certain wealthy, powerful segments of the society against the public, where the public is itself deemed, inherently, to be the transgressor or, at least, deemed to be a potential transgressor?


Policing, ultimately, is about control: control of the masses.  And control of the masses is the sine qua non of the “Police State.”

But, is this hypothesis true? To test this hypothesis we must take a close look at the history of policing.

We begin with a look at policing in Colonial America.


The answer is, “no.” There were no police departments in the colonies or early States. In fact, there were no professional law enforcement officers. The peace officer, most commonly a constable, was usually a low status ‘freeman’ pressed into a tour of duty for a year. He was not paid a salary; rather, he was a part-time officer who received small fees for performing various services, probably while attempting to maintain his usual occupation.” {citation omitted}

In the earliest days of the Republic the duty of policing resided in the public. The public took responsibility for law and order. “The evolution of American policing was a slow and selective process. . . . The process was slow and selective because the public feared centralized power and control. . . . The unification of the English colonies as an independent nation in the West brought a greater need for communal security, and heightened the necessity for a governing authority and laws with which to maintain order, than prior to America’s autonomy. Ratification of the United States Constitution offered a well-defined Federal influence, administered through three branches of government, executive, legislative, and judicial, and provided the central authority necessary to administer justice. In the United States, the laws and ‘elaborate machinery’ needed to enforce them had not yet been tested; thus law enforcement was administered in the only manner with which citizens were familiar: the parish-constable system.” {citation omitted}

The rise of the professional police officer and the rise of centralized police departments – the modern police system – replacing the informal parish-constable system – was a development, oddly enough, owing much to the philosophy of policing in English society. “American policing is generally ascribed to an Englishman, Sir Robert Peel.”

“Appointed as the British Home Secretary, Peel introduced the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829. The Act was designed to reform the antiquated parish-constable system of policing that had failed to effectively repress the rising incidence of violent and property crime in England.” Peel is considered the father of modern policing. Peel’s philosophy of policing is codified in a set of 26 principles.

They are:

  1. Absence of crime best improves police efficiency
  2. Principle objective is crime prevention
  3. Organization must be stable, efficient, military-like
  4. Police headquarters centralized
  5. Establishment of rank with assigned duties
  6. Separation of police management from judiciary
  7. Modification of system to meet local needs
  8. Creation of a divisional reserve
  9. Police records are necessary (to allot divisional strength)
  10. Recruits hired on a probationary basis
  11. Police applicants to be judged on their merits
  12. Police should be even-tempered; a quiet determined manner
  13. Each officer will be assigned a number
  14. Proper training is the root of police efficiency
  15. Strict discipline of officers will ensure high behavioral standards
  16. Deployment by shift and beat
  17. A “beat card” will be issued to each officer
  18. Promotions will be filled from lower-rank officers
  19. Good appearance commands respect
  20. Distribution of crime news is essential
  21. Power of police depends on public approval
  22. To maintain public respect police must secure public cooperation and obey laws
  23. Public cooperation diminishes proportionately with police use of physical force
  24. To preserve public favor, police must demonstrate impartial service for the law
  25. To maintain a relation with the public that denotes the police are the public and the public are the police
  26. Daily reporting of police activity

As you can see, Peel’s list includes several administrative mechanisms, normative values, and, perhaps, most revealing, a military structure.

What we have today – the militarization and federalization of police – is, then, not a creature that just happened suddenly and mysteriously. Its seeds were planted over 180 years ago. The fear that Americans have today over the increasing power of police forces in American society echo those of Americans and the English, too, almost two centuries ago.

In the next installment we will continue our investigation into the roots of modern policing and the rise of the Police State in America.

See our recent post. We discuss the implications of the Ferguson matter in depth. Click on the As always, we value your comments.

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The bottom line is cops are not soldiers, should not look, dress, or pretend to be them. If we need wanabe soldiers, the governor will call in the NG. Cops should be only be allowed to dress in traditional police uniforms and conduct themselves as such. If they wanted to be soldiers they should have joined the army.


Good lord let it go……this liberal droll has run its course so its time to stop. Police in riot gear march in the streets when they have to, not because of some conspiratorial master plan. Take the tin foil hat off please.


As recently as the end of WWII, the military still made its surplus arms and equipment available for sale to the general public, and the police departments across the land bought their desired equipment from the same surplus sources as all the rest of us did. Now, we have equipment that is sold (or given away) for “law enforcement use only.” Why? Since the police departments are all, by definition, civilian organizations, why do they “need” special equipment not generally available to the rest of us? In fact, they don’t. The idea that the criminal element is “better armed than… Read more »


Great article! Perhaps you’ll find some of the material I presented in this talk useful:
The Standing Armies of Yesterday and the Police State Today