There is call for police to be slightly more heavily armed than civilians. For whereas you and me have the right to defend ourselves and others, police have the powers—and they are legitimate ones—to chase people down in order to effect arrest and to keep the peace, which nay involve crowd control. Also, they may lay siege to fortified positions in order to execute lawful warrants or resolve hostage situations, beyond what would be justified for private individuals.
Aside from that, and remember they must all be lawful, no, they don’t need anything more than Average Joe.
Anyforce dealing directly with the people should require the people they are dealing with have the means to supply themselves with weapons of simular power and abilities.
“There is call for police to be slightly more heavily armed than civilians.” - TC
Not even close - It is the citizenry that is responsible for keeping the security of the free state. Keeping it free from enemies of the constitution both foreign and domestic. These enemies are like to have full-auto battle rifles, tanks, fighter planes, and helicopters.
Not according to Alexander Hamilton (he got this one right). His retort from Federalist #29:
...if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.
(hat tip to PJ)