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California Highway Patrol Calls Itself 'Paramilitary' Organization

The militarization of American police with equipment and weapons used by the U.S. military has caused controversy across the country.

However, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is proudly calling itself a "paramilitary" organization in some of its recruiting materials.

On its website, the CHP asks potential recruits, "Are you willing to work in a para-military organization, operating under a structured chain-of-command?"

On another website page aimed at recruiting military veterans, the law enforcement agency states, "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."

The CHP states on its cadets classes 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."

The Posse Comitatus Act does not allow U.S. military forces to be used against the American people under most circumstances, with a few specific exceptions. reports that a CHP officer was filmed assaulting a woman on the side of the road and another woman found a CHP officer allegedly stealing photographs from her cell phone when she was charged with DUI.

Sources:,, Wikipedia


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