Originally Posted by Patchman
Militarization of the police. Surplussed military equipment. More LEOs have military background. Rank structure. LE wear uniforms. Use of military terminology. DHS getting delivery of 2.7 billion rounds of small arms ammo since January 1 of this year. Expanded/common use of blue coloured roof lights on police cars indicative of adopting European/UN practices (traditionally, U.S. LE only used red and white lights).
Probably many more indicia that I missed.
Not going to weigh in on whether I think it's a good or bad thing, but there is a definite trend toward militarization of the police forces going on nationwide.
When I was a kid, cops most places looked basically like civilians in police uniforms and carried shotguns and revolvers. Now, as you said, most of them wear military haircuts and are issued AR's, and just about every department either has its own SWAT/SRT team or participates in a regional joint group.