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Movies and television shows depicting a future where law enforcement officers look like military soldiers may not be wholly inaccurate. In the last ten years, SWAT teams, or "police paramilitary units" (PPC's) have become an influential force in contemporary policing.

Academic research and the news media have recently taken note of this development and have highlighted several important trends and issues related to paramilitary policing. These include the rapid growth of PPU's, their movement into mainstream police functions and the potential negative consequences of such a shift. This study overviews national trends in paramilitary policing using two national surveys. It then examines trends and issues relevant to the state of Kentucky using both mail survey data and in-depth telephone interviews.



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