Because NYC is a fashion capitol and the NYPD like to dress the part they are given.
Our revolutionary era commissioners in Europe, among them John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, were astounded at the grinding poverty of the masses and the wealth of the nobles. That the princes feared the peasants was evident by their heavily armed security entourages. Government buildings were also stoutly defended by muskets with bayonets fixed.
They were relieved that in our fledgling republics, where the people were sovereign, and government was servant and not master, the specter of standing armies to protect the government was an irrelevant impossibility.
In the 1970s I saw much the same in various Navy liberty ports in Europe; soldiers always posted at various points throughout the cities. I thanked God that would never happen in America.
Now, in my tiny county in north Florida, (population 15,000) I must go through a metal detector manned by an armed deputy to enter the courthouse. To enter the county commissioners meeting room within the courthouse, I must do the same; empty pockets and submit to a search.
I refuse to fly on an airline for the same reason I will not again enter my county courthouse; I am not a criminal, I am not dangerous and refuse to conduct myself as if I were.
I don't think the ruling class understands they are fast losing all legitimacy. When that happens, order can only be maintained by pure force, and not reason.
They will never take my guns.
“...Why do the New York PD need to be outfitted like they are in Afghanistan?...”
In case us peons get “uppity”...
A long, long time ago, I remember other uniforms and helmets that looked eerily similar... and a little guy with a funny mustache and greasy hair was telling them to take the peoples’ guns then, too...
Funny how that works, ain’t it?
We all know how THAT turned out. Lessons for people in power to remember...