This is highly dangerous because it allows the police to be utilized for military purposes on a local level, essentially creating the threat of a totalitarian state with police enforcement of anything a given politician wants them to enforce. Strike breaking, for example, could be easily arranged with a highly militarized police force with no need to seek the federal oversight that has happened in the past.
The militarization of the American police force is one of the most frightening things allowed in the United States by it's citizenry in, possibly, the entire time the United States has been a country.
The mission of ANY domestic police force is to "protect and serve", and with the uncalled for militarization occurring, the mission has been perverted to "subjugate and quash".
There are certain RARE instances where it would be beneficial for a police department (sheriff's department, constabulary...) to know and use some military tactics, but there is ZERO need for the police to have military type (assault) equipment nor to be a covert police force.
The military policing the United States runs contrary to both the founding father's doctrines and to the continued well being of the citizenry of these states.
Most, if not all, American cities have SWAT units, which operate in a military style. They are also heavily armed, have armored cars, snipers, etc. It has been needed in the past when they were outgunned by professional criminals. But SWAT teams are only a small part of any police department. Police were used back in the 20's and 30's as strike breakers. Strikers now have the protection of Federal Labor laws, and I suppose, it helps that most police departments are unionized.
First of all, police are simply not trained as rigorously as soldiers are. Cops have routinely been seen, in public, brandishing weapons in ways that no soldier would ever do: it's a matter of basic gun safety, let alone threat escalation.
Second of all, military equipment is rarely designed for the kind of tasks that the police have to do.MRAPs are simply too big, unwieldy, and end up probably being more expensive than a Bearcat, and most counties simply do not need it.
Third, the only people who we can be sure benefit from the militarization of police are arms contractors. As always, corporations and their needs are first and foremost, and everything else is incidental.
Most importantly, the militarization of the police is a symptom of a deeper problem. The fact that the police too often view themselves as being in effect the occupying army in control of a city, rather than civil servants and fellow citizens keeping the peace and being helpful, isn't just one of the major causes of police brutality but also one of the major reasons why crime control so often fails in America.
Right now, SWAT teams and military hardware are just overused. Simple warrants for non-violent drug crimes should not require a SWAT team or assault rifles.