Sunday, May 28, 2017

Some Police Officers Served Nation First, Then Communities

Police officers say military backgrounds helped build foundation for law enforcement career
Idaho Press Tribune
By TORRIE COPE
May 27, 2017
Bridges’ background has also been useful in sensitive situations. There have been times when the police were called to a suicidal subject or someone threatening to harm themselves. In some of those situations, the subject was a veteran struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. Bridges said as a veteran himself, he’s been able to gain trust and credibility with those people and help them find resources.
Caldwell Police officer Joshua Bridges, above returned in February from a six-month deployment to Southeast Asia
NAMPA — For six months, Caldwell Police officer Joshua Bridges hung up his police uniform and traded it for a different uniform for a recent deployment to southwest Asia.In addition to serving as a police officer for the city of Caldwell, Bridges also serves in the the Idaho Air National Guard.
Chris Bronson/IPT
In addition to serving as a police officer, Bridges also serves in the Idaho Air National Guard in security forces, which he described as basically military police for the Air Force. He returned from his deployment in February and is back on patrol in Caldwell.

Bridges is one of a number of local officers who serve or have served in the military. Some of these officers told the Press-Tribune that their military background has built a strong foundation for their careers in law enforcement. They were also called to each profession for similar reasons — to serve their country and community and make a difference.

“It’s been my lifelong goal to serve my community and to serve in general,” Nampa Police Lt. Jason Kimball said. “It fit in well with that.”

Working as a police officer involves discipline, structure and the ability to adapt to difficult situations.

For local officers with backgrounds in the military, those skills have already been developed, and they say their experience in the service helped transition them into a career in law enforcement.

“There are a lot of similarities, and I think that’s why you see a lot of veterans go into law enforcement or a similar field,” Bridges said.

Bridges joined the Idaho Air National Guard in 2007 while going to school. He was hired to the Caldwell Police Department in 2011.
Nampa Police Capt. Curt Shankel said veterans bring a sense of discipline and pride in service to the force.

“When they come in from serving in the military, they continue that service, that pride and that sense of giving back and serving the community or country they live in,” he said.
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