The fact that the police have to wear protective items such as stab proof vests, shows quite clearly the types of situations they are being asked to deal with on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.
The fact that we ask them to go into these situations armed with nothing more sinister, (until The pepper spray introduction) than a truncheon, shows how ludicrous their level of equipment is.
What use is a truncheon or pepper spray if the person they are trying to arrest is armed, with one of the many firearms on the streets today. For a spray or baton to be effective, they have to be within arm's reach. Any villain with a fire arm knows they can avoid arrest, safe in the knowledge that the police are powerless to do anything about the fact they are armed.
Not only should the police be armed but they should be given the proper and necessary training in their effective use. Give the police the right equipment to do their job, in order that their safety in upholding the law, (the job we ask them to do), can be assured.