Differences between police and military forces

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The police force, like the military is part of the coercive state. Both of them are uniformed, disciplined and armed bodies; yet they are different in many ways.

1. In the first place, military is called into action rarely only at times of war, emergency or natural disaster; the police force has a day to day in­volvement in public life. Thus the police is more closer and integrated in the social life, than is the military, which remains alienated.

2. Police are usually unarmed or their arms are primarily for self-defences while military uses arms for defending the country.

Modern developments have however, minimised the distinctions between the police and military. Military is frequently called to deal with domestic disorders, like communal riots, earthquakes and election violences. Police forces are also becoming paramilitary; they have been trained to handle more sophisticated weapons and in many states they also adopt quasi-military mode of operations.


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