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Video: Former soldiers look to military tactics as cops

The concept of building a community while simultaneously being a warrior may work better as an officer than a soldier

By PoliceOne Staff

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The concept of counterinsurgency — born overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan — has followed soldiers who have returned home and taken up jobs as police officers, and been applied to fighting crime at home.

In a 60 Minutes segment titled “Counterinsurgency Cops,” officers explained the concept of building a community while simultaneously being a warrior — and how the concept can translate to cleaning up the streets in America.

Mike Cutone, a Green Beret and Massachusetts State Trooper, works as part of a special gang crime unit for Springfield, according to CBS.

“Insurgents and gang members both want to operate in a failed area, a failed community or a failed state,” Cutone said. “They know they can live off the passive support of the community, where the community is not going to call or engage the local police.”

Cutone presented a counterinsurgency plan to Springfield’s deputy police chief John Barbieri after he noticed the striking similarities between the city and the Iraqi towns he has served in, according to the article.

“Once it became clear that he wasn't talking about checkpoints or fast roping from helicopters, that he was talking about going door to door organizing the neighborhood into a collaboration to report crime, to get involved in solving their own problems, it became obvious to me that that was exactly the type of program I needed for this neighborhood,” Barbieri said. 

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