Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan need heightened survival instincts to avoid bomb attacks. The Associated Press says that doesn’t always translate when soldiers return home to their jobs as law enforcement officers. A survey by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance found officers who feel compelled to use tactics they employed in war zones and feel less patient toward the public they serve.
One officer felt compelled to fire his gun in the air to disperse an unruly crowd. Others felt wary about being flanked when working crowd control. others said after seeing the hardships ordinary Afghans and Iraqis lived with, it’s hard to care about complaints over pet droppings. The report warns that the blurring of the line between combat and confrontations with criminal suspects at home may result in “inappropriate decisions and actions – particularly in the use of  force. This similarity  could result in injury or death to an innocent civilian.” In two high-profile cases, officers blamed overzealous use of force on complications from military service.
Read The Crime Report’s feature “Once a Soldier, Now a Cop“