I stopped at the historic courthouse in Hanover, Virginia. I was taking some pictures and then I walk down the path to the walkway crossing the road to the eatery and in across the street. When I got to the crosswalk I was surprised because as I entered the crosswalk, one of the local sheriff cars (presumably driven by a deputy) saw me in the crosswalk but didn’t stop to let me cross. I found it interesting from a “safety first” perspective. But perhaps “practicing safety” and “law enforcemeant” are not exactly the same thing.
In the U.S. we have a long tradition of citizenry, police, and military. For many years the citizenry has had distinct semantic categories for these social functions. However, I think there is evidence that at some levels these distinctions are merging. While not all citizens agree that the merger is useful, it is nevertheless happening at a political and managerial level. Terms like Law Enforcement extend beyond the traditional roles of police and bring the police into a larger strategically orchestrated social movement. In addition to this some of the traditional imagery surrounding police has changed. While it does raise many questions about the order and structure of society in the U.S. one question which seems pertinent to ask is: Who is protected and Who is served?
Imagery is only one way to assess the conflation of semantic concepts. Another way to look at it would be to consider concepts and terminology of detainees and prisoners as those concepts are practiced by Law Enforcement operators. A look at the U.S. Army's Internment and Resettlement manual's terminology found in FM 3-39.40 available at http://armypubs.army.mil/doctrine/19_Series_Collection_1.html or locally [PDF]