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Feds To Train Police On Dealing with Combat Vets

January 26, 2012  | 

The Justice Department is rolling out a national program for law enforcement agencies that would provide training to officers, including SWAT operators, on de-escalating armed confrontations with military veterans.

The program, which will be initially launched at 15 sites, will focus on communicating with mentally ill veterans with combat experience rather than engaging them. Officers will be trained to discuss their military experience rather than using force, reports USA Today.

Tags: Verbal Communication, Military-related


Comments (12)

Displaying 1 - 12 of 12

OLD SGT @ 1/26/2012 5:50 PM

A WONDERFUL IDEA THAT IS MUCH NEEDED. I HOPE THEY DON'T FORGET THE VETS...THEY NEED HELP ADJUSTING BACK INTO LIFE AT HOME.

Janice @ 1/26/2012 6:05 PM

I think it is a great idea. How do we sign up for the class.

RICHARD ISAACS @ 1/26/2012 6:30 PM

GOOD IDEA BUT IT SHOULD HAVE STARTED AT THE END OF THE VIET-NAM WAR. I HOPE ALL VETS FROM ALL WARS ARE INCLUDED IN THIS.

Stab Baker @ 1/26/2012 6:56 PM

This sounds like an excellent training for Law Enforcement, but here is an idea. The VA employ's several hundred VA Police Officer's as well as DOD. I think that these Police Officer's who deal with these patients on an every day basis, should be required to have this training. The VA system as I have seen it tends to irritate these veterans coming back from the hostile enviroment, thus making an already bad situation worse. The Dept. Of Veterans Affairs Police along with the DOD should be one of the major sites considered for this training. After all we are the ones who will more than likely be dealing with them first hand week in and week out...Just a thought.

bcrane @ 1/27/2012 5:59 AM

Finally, the FEDS being proactive. These VETS deserve the very best and should not be thrown out like a used peice of equipment.

John @ 1/27/2012 1:17 PM

Now, if only they would match funds in actually treating the "mental illnesses" that these vets develop in the service of their country. Labelling PTSD symptoms as a mental illness does a disservice to the people who exposed themselves to so many traumatic events in the name of freedom.

Actually providing effective treatment of this problem and helping these people to adjust back into the fold of contemporary society would be beneficial to all concerned.

We know they're coming back messed up...wouldn't it be better to work proactively by assuming the problem exists and offering blanket treatment before it flies up in our face carrying a weapon. We spend so much money on the toys that make the noise, but not enough on the bandaids to clean up the mess after the noise has died down...

John @ 1/27/2012 1:35 PM

@stab: problem with the VA system, like most of the government facility systems, is that there security officers and police are provided by a contractor who is often the lowest bidder. Added to that, the contractor often bids low to win the bid, but doesn't put in a realistic bid, and therefore has to save the money somewhere, whether it comes to training, salaries (never a manager's salary of course), or equipment. As a result, you get a dissilusioned workforce, which, even when provided with training, doesn't take it seriously, and is more likely to duck out when a real situation arises with a hostile veteran than to face the problem with the proper response. De-escalation is a tricky business, and regardless of your attempt to de-escalate someone, you still have to be ready to act when it becomes clear that your attempts are failing.

When you get a security guard who many times doesn't even speak fluent English (as I've seen on many sites) trying to talk down a despondent and irrational veteran, whose issues that guard could give two s#@ts less about, what do you think that already unstable veteran is thinking about the whole situation? After all, what did he risk his neck for? Words like "Freedom" and the "greater good" sound a little hollow at that point, don't you think?

I do feel that the training would be good for law enforcement officers, and, if contract security for federal installations were to improve, that it would be good for COMPETENT security officers and VA police to be trained in. However, without the added impetus of actually trying to treat the problem before it begins, it is just another reason to charge a few bucks more for a training certification.

John @ 1/27/2012 1:48 PM

sorry bout the rant, and misspelling their...I realize that VA Police are actually a usajobs listing (and hope that their selection criteria is adequate)...just ranting about other federal installations and their GSA/FPS security.

Commander Griffin @ 1/28/2012 4:55 AM

Lets leave the Mental Health issues to to the ME Professionals and give our VETS the help they might need during and after there service to our Country. Our LE Officers are already stressed out in dealing with everyday police work and cut backs from our politicians. The other issue is how do we know a person is a VET or not?

Stan Baker @ 1/30/2012 4:44 PM

@John. The VA Police are not contract security. They are a legitmate Law Enforcement agency, who train with City, County, and State agencies. We are the front line in dealing with the Veterans, as most of us are Veterans ourselves. If your an alcoholic or a drug user...are you going to want a counselor who has no idea what alcohol or drugs do to you? Thats why VA Police should be included in this training program... We know how to work with these vets..and thanks for catching the mispelling on Stab.

Capt David LACO Retired @ 2/1/2012 5:37 PM

Oh sure, the Feds are going to train the gizzlion LEO's in the USA how to deal with combat vets. Let's see...you got an armed combat vet trying to kill you and you are supposed to???? 1) ask him what branch he was in?? 2) call your supervisor and ask him for direction? 3) call the fed who gave the class and ask him what you should do while this vet is trying to gun you down..

Hector @ 10/12/2012 5:59 PM

The US Department of Veterans Affairs Police are federal law enforcement officials with statutory arrest authority under Title 38 USC Sections 901-902. VA Police are over 2900 strong in VA Facilities in all 50 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Most of our officers are also veterans and can relate to such in most cases when compared to other law enforcement agencies. VA is ahead in such sort of training integrating such at the Law Enforcement Training Center and nationwide. One of which is combat ground defense and recovery among others such Crisis Intervention et.

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