Editorial Board

Obama Demilitarizes the Police

The local police force shouldn't look and act like an army.

Is this really necessary?

Photographer: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The police protect the public. The military protects the republic. In an age of terrorism, their jobs necessarily overlap, especially in large cities. But some lines between police officers and soldiers ought to remain distinct, and President Barack Obama took an essential step this week toward reining in the counterproductive militarization of police departments that has occurred since the attacks of Sept. 11. 

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