I understand what you're saying, Wyosmith, but I am saying that instances of social breakdown are actually rare and under those few and brief circumstances, the police are practically non-existant, which is why there is a breakdown in social order to begin with. Actually, I think this discussion only has meaning within the context of the last two hundred years. Anyway, it is also a case of the chicken and the egg: which came first. The lack of an effective police force or the breakdown in social order.
When the police forces "turn against the people," that is a misleading way to put it. Generally speaking, most people always support the government, which is not to say they necessarily support the party in power, if it works that way. But the last thing most people want is no government, which results in a real breakdown in social order. When dictators take over a country and power is centralized, one of the first things they do is deal with any one who has other ideas. After the American Revolution, anyone who didn't like the new social order pretty much had to leave, although some just went further west.
Half the people are barely affected in any way by any government any where anyway (a slight exaggeration).
Shoot low, sheriff. They're riding Shetlands!
Underneath the starry flag, civilize 'em with a Krag,
and return us to our own beloved homes!
Buy War Bonds.