As Chaplain for the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, I have the opportunity to serve on the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Task Force.Â The task force has the following purpose as stated on the link above:
Bringing Soldiers and Their Families All The Way Home
The Minnesota National Guard has pioneered a program in hopes of changing how Soldiers and Airmen are reintegrated back to their communities. Called Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, the program is named as a reminder that the support of Soldiers cannot end when they return from deployment and the yellow ribbons are untied.
I sit on a sub-group of the task force made up of criminal justice professionals.Â Our job is to get information and resources out to our peers so that we can truly support our troops with more than just words.Â There is an information vacuum regarding our troops and the Minnesota National Guard is doing an exceptional job trying to get the message out, but it hasn’t been easy.Â The following is an excerpt from a brochure our group put together to send to our peers.Â I thought I would take the opportunity to share a piece of it with you in hopes of getting this important message out.
A Message for Minnesota Peace Officers, Lawyers and Members of the Judiciary
The topics of war and foreign policy dominate the news and media outlets on a daily basis.Â Throughout these reports and discussions, regardless of political orientation or professional affiliation, the country has beenÂ united in delivering a universal message, aÂ declaration that we must â€œSupport the Troops.â€
As individuals we can define and put into action what it means to personally support our military personnel.Â We can and should voice our opinions and support causes according to our individual beliefs and values.Â But as professional peace officers, lawyers andÂ members of the judiciary, we also have a responsibility to work together and collectively find ways that our professions can support the troops.Â
There will be over 2500 National Guard Officers, Soldiers, Airmen and other reserve components returning to our communities during the summer of 2007.Â Additionally, there are military service personnel, active duty and reserve, from every military branch, continually returning to our communities.Â The need for our professions to prepare and train for interaction with these returning veterans is great.Â
The â€œBeyond the Yellow Ribbon Task Forceâ€ is made up of six sub-groups addressing:
– Health Care
– Families and Children
– Criminal Justice
– Crisis Care
– Higher Education
Our sub-group is made up of Criminal Justice professionals committed to the task force and its reintegration mission.
There are some very predictable behaviors that veterans may display upon returning home.Â There are many variables involved, and the vast majorityÂ of veterans return and reintegrate very effectively, provided they are given the proper time and support to do so.Â Â However there will be a significant number who will return and display behaviors that were acceptable in deployment but are unacceptable in our communities.Â There will also be a small percentage that we will encounter that will be in crisis and will need informed criminal justice professionals to effectively and safely intervene.
As Criminal Justice System professionals, we are in the position to identify and recognize inappropriate behaviors in their early stages.Â With public safety as our top priority, early intervention and a solid understanding of contributing factors and support resources are very effective tools for minimizing the negative impact of inappropriate behavior.Â Â
We must also recognize that there will be a significant number of veterans returning to careers in the public safety professions.Â It is essential that they are reintegrated into their previous jobs effectively and deliberately.Â The professional skills they learned in combat may prove to be a double edged sword.Â While many of these skills will be of value and utilized on the job, the rules of engagement in combat are vastly different from the policies and procedures of Minnesota Law Enforcement.Â Defined policies and job reintegration programs are essential to support these returning service personnel.
Time, planning and quality training are critical componentsÂ of successful reintegration.Â Our goal as the Criminal Justice System sub-committee is to provide the quality information and resourcesÂ that are needed to make this project successful. Please take the time to learn more about this project and how it impacts your community and your profession.Â
The members of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Task Force: Criminal Justice sub-group.
For additional information regarding this project please visit the Minnesota National Guard: Beyond the Yellow Ribbon website at: www.minnesotanationalguard.org
Or contact one of our group members listed below.
Captain Matt Christian Minnesota National Guard JAG Matthew.Christian@us.army.mil
Chaplain Dan Carlson Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association firstname.lastname@example.org
Fred Karasov Hennepin County Attorney’s Office Fred.Karasov@co.hennepin.mn.us
Hon. Renee Worke Minnesota Court of Appeals Renee.Worke@courts.state.mn.us
Lieutenant Mark Peterson Minnesota State Patrol Mark.Peterson@state.mn.us
Paul Monteen Minnesota P.O.S.T. Board
For additional information regarding this project please visit the Minnesota National Guard: Beyond the Yellow Ribbon website at: www.minnesotanationalguard.org Or contact one of our group members listed below. Captain Matt Christian Minnesota National Guard JAG Matthew.Christian@us.army.mil Chaplain Dan Carlson Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association email@example.com Fred Karasov Hennepin County Attorney’s Office Fred.Karasov@co.hennepin.mn.us Hon. Renee Worke Minnesota Court of Appeals Renee.Worke@courts.state.mn.us Lieutenant Mark Peterson Minnesota State Patrol Mark.Peterson@state.mn.us Paul Monteen Minnesota P.O.S.T. Board firstname.lastname@example.org