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Texas Bill Would Streamline Police Hiring of Soldiers

March 04, 2013  | 

The Texas Legislature is now debating a bill named in honor of fallen Navy SEAL Chris Kyle that would streamline hiring of former military personnel at law enforcement agencies.

Kyle, considered the most lethal sniper in American military history with 160 confirmed kills, was shot and killed by a former military colleague at a gun range on Feb. 2.

Kyle had dreamed of joining a law enforcement agency, his widow Taya told WFAA. He was on his way to becoming an officer with the Dalworthington Gardens Police Department.

The new law would allow military veterans who prove their skills to skip out on certain parts of the police academy.

Comments (17)

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17

RICHARD ISAACS @ 3/4/2013 5:15 PM


BlueT @ 3/4/2013 5:29 PM

If people would take the time to research this bill, instead of shooting off at the mouth, @RICHARD ISSACS, you would realize that this does not guarantee the vets a job. They are still subject to the hiring process. If they are selected, they would then have the opportunity to "CLEP" certain parts of the academy. Case in point, some 27 year old range master teaching Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in history, how to shoot. Really? Educate yourselves before you spout off.

Ima Leprechaun @ 3/4/2013 7:02 PM

Just because someone has prior miltary experience does not make them the best choice to be a Law Enforcement Officer. As with any Law Enforcement job it takes someone with a good overall knowledge of Life. Leave high standards in place and adhere to them so that everyone is qualified to be the best choice based upon how well they will integrate into that organization. We all have strengths and weaknesses and we all lend our talents to the whole of each department. Nobody is expecting robocop to patrol our streets and to be honest I'd rather have a human being on the job. As for Academy instruction everybody can use training even "perfect" people and I would be willing to bet even experts can learn new tricks from a 27 year old instructor.

Mark @ 3/4/2013 9:36 PM

Anyone who isn't a military cheerleader while drinking Uncle Sam's Kool-Aid knows this is a bad idea. But this is America circa 2013, and the military and anyone associated with it is sacrosanct. Talk about the pendulum swinging the other direction since Viet Nam. It was wrong then but ridiculous hero worship and giving guys a pass now is just stupid.

A close friend of mine is an Air Force Major. His basic training when he joined was a total joke. Basically just learning how to salute and march. PT was at their own pace. He never even saw a weapon. As a Captain he finally got to fire pistol. Before he did, I gave him a crash course one day at a range. He stated to me after his Air Force "training" that I taught him way more and knew way more than his Air Force instructors. And at the time I was probably around 27 years old and I am not a firearms instructor, just a LEO. There is no way my friend here could ever be a cop. But I guess under this law he could just pass out of some of the training. Now that is funny. There is a big difference between law enforcement training and military training. Completely separate topics. And yes, even the firearms training is completely different.

Further my other close friends do all the background investigations for the military to include Special Forces like the Green Berets and the SEALS. They are veterans themselves. They have told me MOST of the military guys' backgrounds are horrible now. Drug problems, criminal records, financial problems, foreign contacts, disciplinary problems, mental problems, irresponsible, low character, etc, you name the issue and they got it. This has occasionally been reported in the news but not that much. I think lately the huge rape problem has been reported. I wonder why there are all these rapes? Letting criminals in much? I don't think we need to give people with terrible backgrounds a free pass to a badge and a gun.

FireCop @ 3/5/2013 4:48 AM

I wish most of the youngsters that are hired today in public safety had some military experience. They would understand words like respect, honor and duty. Most of them (not all) hired today only are interested in one thing in this entitlement society......what's in it for them. There will still be a process and some will not be hired, but those that we've hired after serving our country in the armed forces have been 1st class people who know how to follow orders and show initiative without being told what to do. Stay safe.

Trigger @ 3/5/2013 5:08 AM

Give the vet bonus points on their civil service tests. Just because someone is a veteran does not make them a qualified candidate for law enforcement. Several combat friends of mine get royaly pissed off when the vets who have never left the States start claiming PTSD, complaining because they do not like the base/post facilities, etc. Where do you draw the line. What about the kid that went in the Peace Corp and was put in a war torn country, what hiring benefits do they receive. Ok, I'll get off my stump, cutting corners will not benefit the law enforcement profession. During my 35 years in the profession I have worked with many military veterans with Vietnam, Dessert Storm, etc. experience, who have also been put to the test during a police academy. Not one of them complained about having to put up with the academy and they fully realized that their military experience would benefit them once they were sworn in as a law enforcement officer.

Lt. Sal @ 3/5/2013 5:18 AM

I thought about this long and hard before commenting as I wanted to give the military guys a fair shake. I understand having them skip firearms training to a point. in the grand scheme of things they should just attend. Police trainng is much different as we talk about backstops, civillians and police mentality during a gunfight. It also builds teamwork and keeps all in class involved without separating someone because of prior experience. Would a race car driver skip vehicle pursuit class? An EMT skip first responder? these portions are not very timely in the grand scheme of things and everyone needs to attend the whole class. If it is something you truly want to do, then suck it up and not worry about exceptions. odds are background investigators are going to pick the military guy/girl over an applicant without that experience. So go to class and pay your police academy dues. It is a small price. Stay safe

Steve @ 3/5/2013 5:23 AM

I can see it both ways. I was a firearms instructor for a local academy. One of the students had a glass eye. He was a SEAL. Was in the sandbox and had gotten hit in the eye by a AK 47. If you looked close the pupil of the glass eye was a Trident. He was one of the best shots on the line. Never had a problem taking instruction from me or any other officer even though I can say for certain he has been there and done that and lived to talk about it.

djhaussler @ 3/5/2013 11:10 AM

I can't imagine anyone who has served our military, who is worth their salt, would sit out any training while their classmates had to complete it, even if it involves doing something they have done a thousand times, or even perfected, as the skills of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle would attest to. Afterall, anyone who has served our military understands the importance of repetition during training and how it ultimately affects your response when it really counts. When it boils down to it, I believe most veterans live by the adage, "Don't ask anyone to do something you haven't done yourself".
As far as Navy SEALS go, I have had the privilege to meet (and train with) quite a few. And in every instance, besides their obvious skills, they have impressed me by being some of the most respectful and humble people I have ever met. None of them felt they had to prove anything, even though there was little doubt each and everyone of them could have trained-the-trainer so to speak. I think the same goes for the majority of all veterans....most do not think themselves any better than the next person, and certainly not above doing the same training as everyone else. Just my .02

Bob @ VA @ 3/6/2013 9:35 AM

SEALs aren't the issue and no one proposes lowering the standards. I don't think that most of the posters here even read the article. Nobody would get a "pass" to a badge. Individuals would have to prove their skills to get them credited. Current SPs/MPs would already have LE basics and should easily translate their skills and experience to civilian LE. Actual combat experience proves more about an individuals performance under extreme stress than a few weeks of academy training or commenting on a blog. The program won't benefit all veterans, only those with significant applicable skills. Everyone on this board owes our military members and veterans their freedom and entire way of life.

Mark - "...MOST of the military guys' backgrounds are horrible now." Really? How many years of military experience to you have? Seen a few war movies, eh? Have you been a military commander, or are using war stories over adult beverages as truth data? Do you personally know a major sample of current military members to accept that absurd statement? The vast majority of military members are high-caliber individuals with important skills, respectful attitudes, and real sense of what service means. That comes from decades of relevant experience, not a few minutes in a bar.

Few military veterans outside of the military LE career fields desire a career in civilian LE. Those that do and can demonstrate the requisite skills have earned a shot at an accelerated program. This isn't something for nothing like affirmative action, but rather recognition of the valuable skills possessed by many returning veterans and a sense of gratitude for their sacrifices.

Mark @ 3/6/2013 10:54 PM

Bob @ VA,

Thank you for proving my sacrosanct point for me. And yes, I have served this country. I wasn't some chairborne ranger either. I have put my life on the line bringing down terrorists and spies. You're welcome.

As far as the background information goes you obviously have no clue what you are talking about. How about having extensive conversations and even assisting several military and Federal civilian background investigators over the past ten years. These folks have done thousands over that time period. Is that a big enough sample for you? Again, just because you were in the military doesn't mean you know anything about background investigations or security clearances. Can't skip out of that training.

I would have thought that my post where I mentioned "friends" who were military officers and military background investigators you would have realized that I know what I am talking about and have inside info. I'm not getting it from movies or a bar. I don't know what the hell you are talking about there.

I would like to see how this law is implemented because it wouldn't surprised me if they let all veterans skip out of training regardless of past experience.

Mark @ 3/6/2013 11:22 PM

Bob @ VA,

Furthermore Bob, have you heard about the giant rape problem the military currently has? Or do you not watch the news? Just google it if you haven't. I didn't know high caliber, respectful people raped others? Have you seen news reports where our military generals have stated 3/4 of people ages 18-24 are unfit for service. Citing CRIMINAL RECORDS, drug use, high school drop outs, and other problems. You know some of these "unfit" are being pushed through, right?

Let me give you a typical example of what a military background investigator has to put up with. You get someone's file and you notice they are a new recruit and their SF-86 is all wrong. You try to get a hold of the subject and the recruiter. Neither will call you back. You head down to the recruiters office to meet with him. When you get there they are blaring gangster rap and screwing off. Once you get them to turn it off, they are extremely disrespectful and don't want to even talk to you. When you finally tear into the SF-86 you realize that the recruiter and the recruit falsified it. Which is a crime by the way. But who cares they are sacrosanct. You spend 12 hours there straightening their stuff out because neither guy can fill out a form or tell the truth. This happens more than you think. This is child's play here. They have to straighten out a lot worse stuff usually 18 hours a day 7 days a week.

If that is "high-caliber individuals with important skills, respectful attitudes, and real sense of what service means" you got to be kidding me? I guess you and I have different definitions of those words.

John @ 3/7/2013 4:08 AM

Please note: I'm not a veteran. Obviously, any prior training or experience would need to to be evaluated. You would have to be a shit for brains to compare an Air Force pencil pusher or Navy cook to a special operations team member (Delta, Special Forces, Rangers, Navy Seals, Marine Recon or Pararescuemen).

Military l.e.o.'s are receiving more extensive and higher quality training than in years past.

How many out of state or federal officers have been allowed to waive the requirement to attend an in state academy? Or, only been required to complete 1 to 2 weeks of equivalency training?

Maybe a more applicable discussion should be: why are 21 year olds (who have minimal life experience) allowed to become l.e.o.'s?

James burson @ 3/7/2013 8:56 AM

skip some physical..yes nothing less... do like some departments do a give them points for military service in the total scoring process..

Mark @ 3/7/2013 11:05 AM

I just read another longer article on this topic. Basically his family feels he should have been able to skip all of the firearms training mainly because the firearms instructor was younger than him. In my experience, the military firearms training I received was different from the law enforcement training I received. Plus, isn't there a legal liability that departments would face if they had guys skip their firearms training? I could see defense attorneys in the future trying to bring this up in court after a shooting.

Bob @ VA @ 3/7/2013 6:37 PM


Thank you for your service. I have 30 years including multiple commands that say yours is only a small fraction of the picture. Yes, I've disciplined some folks, and removed some from service under other than honorable conditions. Tried to court-martial a few. But I've also lead a whole lot more who honorably give everything for their country.

I know from experience that it's easy to fixate on the few problem children because they take the most time. I once had a young commander who worked for me that kept a chalkboard tally of stripes given and taken in a troubled unit. But that's not productive. The few problems should not taint the honor of the vast majority. Yes, a handful of folks have committed rape and other crimes, including murder. That's true in any community, and the military community is not immune from evil. But that evil is not representative of the entire community.

We've seen some heinous crimes committed by LEOs, both current and former. Should we judge the LEO community at large or even individual LEOs that we meet on the street by those evil exceptions? I pray not. The evil or problem few represent a tiny fraction who serve honorably, yet websites are dedicated to the sparce evil whilst overlooking the honorable many.

I'm sorry that you feel the way that you do. I wish that you could look up from the daily drudgery and see the bigger picture. In any event, I wish you well.

Mark @ 3/8/2013 12:07 AM

Bob @ VA,

Thank you for your nice response. You are obviously a man of intelligence, honor, and should be respected and thanked for your service. Thank you. I understand that hopefully most of the folks in the military today are honest hard working people. What troubles me is the blanket hero worship and breaks with no questions asked and no distinction made. And the sacrosanct status of the DOD. You can't even suggest that we should look at some budget cuts.

I have no problem calling a SEAL a hero and many others in the military but I don't think that same should apply to a pencil pusher who never leaves the States and has an easier job than if he had the exact same job as a civilian. To me that is a slap in the face of veterans who have seen combat and/or been injured. I have a problem with programs I have seen where they give criminals who happen to have random military experience in their background a break. And this law here I am concerned about because I would like to see how it is implemented. My concern would be that it exempts all veterans, even those without combat arms experience or training and places them ahead of even LEOs with training and experience. More of the "blanket approach" we have been seeing the past few years. I think there needs to be a better distinction drawn between those who have been trained for and seen combat and those who have not. But apparently you can't say that and I am sure I will get yelled at on here for suggesting it. Finally, I read another article where people were quoted saying the basis (or one of them) was that they felt Kyle should have been able to just skip all firearms training because the instructor was younger than him. That is ridiculous and I really have to question this law now.

I would write more but it is not letting me. It was nice debating the pros and cons of this bill with you.

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