Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pennsylvania: National Guard pilot returns home to his career as a police officer

A Cumberland County man has spent the last six years as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot in the National Guard. Now, he has traded his camo uniform for police blues.

Gary Shullenberger joined the Carlisle Police Department in April 1993. The next six years he patrolled the Borough and was recognized as the department's go-to-guy for teaching students the evils of drug and alcohol use.

But in February of 2006 he was activated by the National Guard. As a helicopter pilot he trained other pilots at Fort Indiantown Gap to prepare to be deployed to Iraq.

In three years, he got the call to go to Iraq where he served as a Blackhawk Medivac pilot.

"My mission in Iraq was to find those were injured and get that back to safety within an hour," Shullenberger told CBS 21.

Shullenberger returned to the ranks of the Carlisle PD Monday following six years of Army life. Tuesday, he found himself undergoing re-training.

That training includes being instructed on the use of a taser. All department members will need to be trained in how to properly use it.

The taser wasn't a tool of law enforcement when Shullenberger was activated by the Guard. So Tuesday, he joined fellow officers in becoming certified in the use of the less-lethal weapon.

Shullenberger says he looks forward to getting back on the street, whether in a patrol car or on foot patrol. To him, most importantly, is that he will continue to serve people who need it.

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