You should realize the culture was changing even without the assistance of television and even newspapers. It started changing as soon as people began arriving here from the old country, be it England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain or France. Eventually, to begin with, they stopped being English, Irish, Dutch, etc., etc. It can't be stopped, though you may not perceive it happening. The people are growing in new soil and a new kind of person emerges. But I agree it has been downhill since 1965--or is that 1910?
I saw a few rather serious arguments when I was small that originated with people attempting to discipline their neighbor's children. But regarding the police, militarized or not, they are perceived quite differently in different places. I suspect that in places where they actually are your neighbors, they are seen as part of the community. In places where more of them live over in the next country or outside of the city, it might be a little more difficult to have those good community relations that are so important to successful police work. Without the general support of the community, the police are bound to fail, and that doesn't even touch on bad things the police themselves (as individuals) might do, which we won't discuss.
Now, regarding the mass media, it is just as likely to be right-wing as it is to be left-wing. If you don't think so, then turn on your radio.
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.