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Largest State Police Agency in the US, Now Openly Self-Described as a “Paramilitary Organization”

The militarization of police in America is not a theory; the largest state police force in the country now openly recruiting as a “paramilitary organization.”

paramilitary

As the debate surrounding police militarization continues to grow, some police departments are actually seeking to become more like military organizations. Some of those departments are actually even going public with their militaristic aspirations.

The California Highway Patrol for example, lists as its #1 question on its employment application paperwork, “Are you willing to work in a paramilitary organization, operating under a structured chain of-command?”

On their website, they have an entire section dedicated to recruiting former soldiers and people with “paramilitary” experience.

On their military recruiting page they once again refer to their organization as “paramilitary”:

“The CHP offers military personnel a unique working environment which utilizes the skills, self-discipline, and life experiences you have developed during military service. Former military personnel easily fit into the CHP’s workforce and adapt well to our paramilitary work environment. You can use your former military skills and self-initiative to help you promote through the CHP’s ranks.”

Then again on the department’s Cadet page:

“The California Highway Patrol is often described as a “paramilitary” department, and that is true. The uniforms, ranks and insignias, chain of command, and the long-standing traditions resemble a military organization. There is a remarkable esprit de corps in the California Highway Patrol that is unique to this organization. On graduation day you will have earned and will take great pride in your new position as an Officer of the California Highway Patrol.”

This year alone the California Highway Patrol has been wrapped up in a number of corruption and excessive force accusations, most notably the police officer who was recorded assaulting a woman on the side of the road, and the woman who caught an officer stealing private photographs from her phone while she was arrested on a DUI charge.

As of December 18th, 2014, the admissions of being a paramilitary organization are still displayed for all to see on the CHP’s website, but it is likely that their public relations team will restructure their website as soon as enough people point it out.


John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.