Military Veterans and the Contemporary Challenges in Law Enforcement

Contemporary law enforcement faces an ever-growing collection of challenges. Among these challenges is managing the seeming contradiction between calls for the demilitarization of police departments and the encouragement and benefits of actively recruiting military veterans into the ranks of civilian policing.

Recent media coverage of civil disturbances has conveyed images of a police response that, to the public, resembles combat operations, and parallels have been drawn between police response to these crises and the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Against this backdrop of public cynicism regarding police practices and its paramilitary philosophies, law enforcement is presented with the complex challenge of recruiting those men and women whose experience is derived from military service. As the number of military veterans returning home continues to grow, military bases and police departments have joined together in an effort to provide veterans with access to employment opportunities within the field of law enforcement.