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Army vs. Police: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
The Army is a branch of the military responsible for land-based military operations, while the Police are civil law enforcement officers responsible for maintaining public order and safety.
Army vs. Police

Key Differences

The Army is a large organized military force, primarily responsible for national defense and engaging in warfare. The Police are a civil force, responsible for enforcing laws, preventing crime, and maintaining public order within a community or state.
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Members of the Army are trained for combat and defense operations, often deployed in war or conflict situations. In contrast, Police officers are trained in law enforcement, community policing, and crisis intervention, working predominantly within civilian communities.
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The Army operates under the defense department of a government, focusing on national security and territorial protection. The Police operate under local or national law enforcement agencies, focusing on upholding the law and protecting citizens’ rights and property.
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Army deployment is typically for defending against external threats and can be international in scope. The Police focus on domestic issues, operating within the jurisdiction of the city, state, or country they serve.
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The Army often requires long-term commitment and extensive training in military tactics and weaponry. Police training emphasizes law enforcement techniques, criminal justice, and community relations, often requiring ongoing education in legal matters.
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Comparison Chart

Primary Role

National defense, warfare
Law enforcement, public order
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Type of Training

Combat, military operations
Law enforcement, community policing
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Operational Focus

National security, external threats
Domestic law enforcement, public safety
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Jurisdiction

National or international
Local or national boundaries
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Nature of Deployment

Often in conflict zones
Within civilian communities
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Army and Police Definitions

Army

A branch of a nation's armed forces trained for land warfare.
The army was deployed to defend the borders.
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Nov 24, 2023

Police

A body of officers representing civil authority, responsible for law enforcement.
The police investigated the crime scene.
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Nov 24, 2023

Army

A group of military personnel organized for land warfare.
The army built camps near the conflict zone.
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Police

Civil officers charged with maintaining law and order.
The police were called to manage the crowd.
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Nov 24, 2023

Army

An organized military force equipped for fighting on land.
The army conducted extensive training exercises.
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Nov 24, 2023
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Police

Law enforcement officers tasked with preventing crime.
The police patrolled the neighborhood.
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Army

A large body of soldiers trained for ground combat.
He joined the army to serve his country.
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Police

A body of government employees trained in methods of law enforcement and crime prevention and detection and authorized to maintain the peace, safety, and order of the community.
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Oct 19, 2023

Army

The land-based military wing of a nation.
The army played a crucial role in the conflict.
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Police

A body of persons with a similar organization and function
Campus police. Also called police force.
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Oct 19, 2023

Army

A large body of people organized and trained for land warfare.
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Oct 19, 2023

Police

(Archaic) Regulation and control of the affairs of a community, especially with respect to maintenance of order, law, health, morals, safety, and other matters affecting the public welfare.
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Oct 19, 2023

Army

Often Army The entire military land forces of a country.
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Police

(Informal) A group that admonishes, cautions, or reminds
Grammar police.
Fashion police.
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Oct 19, 2023

Army

A tactical and administrative military unit consisting of a headquarters, two or more corps, and auxiliary forces.
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Police

The cleaning of a military base or other military area
Police of the barracks must be completed before inspection.
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Army

A large group of people or things, especially when organized for a specific cause or purpose
The construction army that built the Panama Canal.
A banquet with an army of waiters.
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Oct 19, 2023

Police

The soldiers assigned to a specified maintenance duty.
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Army

A large, highly organized military force, concerned mainly with ground (rather than air or naval) operations.
The army was sent in to quell the uprising.
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Oct 19, 2023

Police

To regulate, control, or keep in order with a law enforcement agency or other official group.
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Army

Used absolutely for that entire branch of the armed forces.
The army received a bigger share of this year's budget increase than the navy or air force.
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Police

To impose one's viewpoint or beliefs regarding, especially in an authoritarian way
Policing others' comments by implementing speech codes.
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Army

(often capitalized) Within a vast military, a very large tactical contingent (e.g. a number of divisions).
The Fourth Army suffered such losses that its remainders were merged into the Second Army, also deployed on the Western front.
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Police

To critique in a presumptuous or arrogant manner
Policed the grammar of everyone who commented on the blog post.
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Army

The governmental agency in charge of a state's army.
The army opposed the legislature's involvement.
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Police

To make (a military area, for example) neat in appearance
Policed the barracks.
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Army

(figuratively) A large group of people working toward the same purpose.
It took an army of accountants to uncover the fraud.
On sunny days the beaches draw armies of tourists of all kinds.
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Oct 19, 2023

Police

A public agency charged with enforcing laws and maintaining public order, usually being granted special privileges to do so, particularly
Call the police!
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Oct 19, 2023

Army

(figuratively) A large group of social animals working toward the same purpose.
Our house is being attacked by an army of ants.
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Police

A department of local (usually municipal) government responsible for general law enforcement.
The Sheriff's Department has jurisdiction across most of Chicago but focuses on the unincorporated area and tasks like prisoner transport, leaving the rest to the Chicago Police Department.
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Oct 19, 2023

Army

(figuratively) Any multitude.
There was an army of construction cranes working on building the skyscraper.
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Oct 19, 2023

Police

(UK) A branch of the Home Office responsible for general law enforcement within a specific territory.
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Army

The military as a whole.
The People's Liberation Army Navy of China.
The Yugoslav Army consisted of the Navy, Ground Forces, and Air Force.
Iran's army consists of the Navy, Ground Forces, and Air Force.
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Oct 19, 2023

Police

Any of the formally enacted law enforcement agencies at various levels of government.
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Army

A collection or body of men armed for war, esp. one organized in companies, battalions, regiments, brigades, and divisions, under proper officers.
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Police

The staff of such a department or agency, particularly its officers; an individual police officer.
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Army

A body of persons organized for the advancement of a cause; as, the Blue Ribbon Army.
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Police

People who try to enforce norms or standards as if granted authority similar to the police.
Who called the fashion police?
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Army

A great number; a vast multitude; a host.
An army of good words.
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Oct 19, 2023

Police

Cleanup of a military facility, as a formal duty.
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Army

A permanent organization of the military land forces of a nation or state
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Police

Synonym of administration, the regulation of a community or society.
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Army

A large number of people united for some specific purpose
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Police

(obsolete) policy.
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Police

(obsolete) polity, civilization, a regulated community.
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Police

(transitive) To enforce the law and keep order among (a group).
Extra security was hired to police the crowd at the big game.
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Police

To clean up an area.
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Police

To enforce norms or standards upon.
To police a person's identity
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Police

A judicial and executive system, for the government of a city, town, or district, for the preservation of rights, order, cleanliness, health, etc., and for the enforcement of the laws and prevention of crime; the administration of the laws and regulations of a city, incorporated town, or borough.
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Police

That which concerns the order of the community; the internal regulation of a state.
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Police

The organized body of civil officers in a city, town, or district, whose particular duties are the preservation of good order, the prevention and detection of crime, and the enforcement of the laws.
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Police

Military police, the body of soldiers detailed to preserve civil order and attend to sanitary arrangements in a camp or garrison.
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Police

The cleaning of a camp or garrison, or the state a camp as to cleanliness.
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Police

To keep in order by police.
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Police

To make clean; as, to police a camp.
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Police

The force of policemen and officers;
The law came looking for him
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Police

Maintain the security of by carrying out a control
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Police

The civil force responsible for enforcing laws and public safety.
She aspired to join the police force.
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Police

Officers of a community or government, enforcing laws and regulations.
The police set up roadblocks for safety checks.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What are the main functions of the police?

The police are responsible for maintaining public order, enforcing laws, preventing crime, and protecting citizens and property.
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Dec 05, 2023

Do police have jurisdiction over military bases?

Typically, military bases fall under military jurisdiction, not civilian police.
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Is training different for the army and police?

Yes, training for the army and police differs significantly, focusing on their respective roles and responsibilities.
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Can the army be involved in law enforcement?

Usually, the army is not involved in standard law enforcement, except under special circumstances like martial law.
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Are army and police weapons different?

Yes, typically, the army has access to a wider range of military-grade weapons, while police are equipped with weapons suited for law enforcement.
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Can members of the army perform police duties?

Generally, no. The army is for national defense, but in some cases, they can be deployed for internal security under specific circumstances.
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Do army and police use the same communication systems?

They may have different communication systems, tailored to their specific operational needs.
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Do police participate in national defense?

Police primarily focus on internal security and law enforcement, not national defense.
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What's the difference in the hierarchy of the army and police?

Both have hierarchical structures, but the army's structure is typically more rigid and based on military ranks, while the police hierarchy is more aligned with civil service ranks.
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What is the primary role of an army?

An army's primary role is national defense and security, protecting the country from external threats.
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Is the discipline in the army and police similar?

Both require discipline, but the army's discipline is often more rigid due to the nature of military service.
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How do the roles of the army and police differ in emergencies?

In emergencies, the army may provide support and resources for large-scale operations, while police handle immediate law enforcement and public safety duties.
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Can police officers join the army?

Yes, police officers can join the army if they meet the army's enlistment criteria.
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Dec 05, 2023

How does the jurisdiction of the army and police differ?

The army operates under national and military jurisdiction, while the police operate within civilian and local legal frameworks.
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Can army personnel become police officers after service?

Yes, many army veterans pursue careers in law enforcement after their military service.
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Are there joint operations between the army and police?

Yes, joint operations can occur, especially in situations concerning national security or major threats.
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Dec 05, 2023

Is the recruitment process for the army and police similar?

The processes can be similar in some aspects, but each has its own specific criteria and training requirements.
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Dec 05, 2023

Are the uniforms of the army and police similar?

The uniforms are distinct, reflecting their different roles and traditions.
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Can police call on the army for assistance?

Yes, in extreme cases, the police can request military assistance, subject to legal and governmental approval.
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Do the army and police work under the same government department?

Typically, the army falls under the Department of Defense, while police are under the Department of Justice or Interior, depending on the country.
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Dec 05, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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