Army vs. Police

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Army and Police is that the Army is a military branch of service primarily focused on ground warfare and Police is a constituted body of persons empowered by the state to enforce the law.

  • Army

    An army (from Latin arma “arms, weapons” via Old French armée, “armed” (feminine)) or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch, service branch or armed service of a nation or state. It may also include aviation assets by possessing an army aviation component. In certain states, the term army refers to the entire armed forces (e.g., People’s Liberation Army). Within a national military force, the word army may also mean a field army.

    In several countries, the army is officially called the Land Army to differentiate it from an air force called the Air Army, notably France. In such countries, the word “army” on its own retains its connotation of a land force in common usage. The current largest army in the world, by number of active troops, is the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force of China with 1,600,000 active troops and 510,000 reserve personnel followed by the Indian Army with 1,129,000 active troops and 960,000 reserve personnel.

    By convention, irregular military is understood in contrast to regular armies which grew slowly from personal bodyguards or elite militia. Regular in this case refers to standardized doctrines, uniforms, organizations, etc. Regular military can also refer to full-time status (standing army), versus reserve or part-time personnel. Other distinctions may separate statutory forces (established under laws such as the National Defence Act), from de facto “non-statutory” forces such as some guerrilla and revolutionary armies. Armies may also be expeditionary (designed for overseas or international deployment) or fencible (designed for – or restricted to – homeland defence)

  • Police

    A police force is a constituted body of persons empowered by a state to enforce the law, to protect people and property, and to prevent crime and civil disorder. Their powers include the power of arrest and the legitimized use of force. The term is most commonly associated with police services of a sovereign state that are authorized to exercise the police power of that state within a defined legal or territorial area of responsibility. Police forces are often defined as being separate from military or other organizations involved in the defense of the state against foreign aggressors; however, gendarmerie are military units charged with civil policing. The police force is usually a public sector service, funded through taxes.

    Law enforcement is only part of policing activity. Policing has included an array of activities in different situations, but the predominant ones are concerned with the preservation of order. In some societies, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, these developed within the context of maintaining the class system and the protection of private property. Police forces have become ubiquitous in modern societies. Some are involved to varying degrees in corruption, police brutality and the enforcement of authoritarian rule.

    Alternative names for a police force include constabulary, gendarmerie, police department, police service, crime prevention, protective services, law enforcement agency, civil guard or civic guard. Members may be referred to as police officers, troopers, sheriffs, constables, rangers, peace officers or civic/civil guards. The word police is most universal and can be seen in many non-English speaking countries.As police are often interacting with individuals, slang terms are numerous. Many slang terms for police officers are decades or centuries old with lost etymology. One of the oldest, “cop”, has largely lost its slang connotations and become a common colloquial term used both by the public and police officers to refer to their profession.

  • Army (noun)

    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.”

  • Army (noun)

    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.”

  • Army (noun)

    The governmental agency in charge of a state’s army.

    “The army opposed the legislature’s involvement.”

  • Army (noun)

    A large group of people working toward the same purpose.

    “It took an army of accountants to uncover the fraud.”

  • Army (noun)

    A large group of social animals working toward the same purpose.

    “Our house is being attacked by an army of ants.”

  • Army (noun)

    Any multitude.

    “On sunny days the beaches draw armies of tourists of all kinds.”

  • Police (noun)

    A civil force granted the legal authority for law enforcement and maintaining public order. from 18th c.

    “Call the police!”

    “The police operating in New York City operate under the New York City Police Department, several other City agencies and boards, and several public authorities.”

  • Police (noun)

    A police officer. from 19th c.

  • Police (noun)

    Policy. 15th-19th c.

  • Police (noun)

    Communal living; civilization. 16th-19th c.

  • Police (noun)

    The regulation of a given community or society; administration, law and order etc. from 17th c.

  • Police (verb)

    To enforce the law and keep order among (a group).

    “Extra security was hired to police the crowd at the big game.”

  • Police (verb)

    To patrol or clean up an area.

  • Police (verb)

    To enforce norms or standards upon.

    “to police a person’s identity”


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