CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait –
More than 35 U.S. Army Reserve military police officers from the 354th Military Police Company deployed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently went back to class to certify on requirements for conducting law enforcement operations in their area of responsibility.
“The reason for it is that every installation must have a certification course before police officers are authorized to enforce any rules, laws, regulations or policies in it,” said Provost Marshal U.S. Army Lt. Col. Matthew Schaefer.
Schaefer said because of the various laws and law enforcement requirements, MP’s typically must attend a local training course approved by the assigned provost marshal before they can enforce rules, laws, or policies specific to the area they are assigned.
“The Army doesn’t have a standard program because every base is a little bit different,” said Schaefer. “For example, Fort Drum, they enforce state laws.”
Schaefer said because the current location did not have a course, they had to create one. So, using material and experience from previous courses his team created in New York, they created one that focused on training MPs who had not seen law enforcement material since their initial training.
“Military Police Officers typically provide three different services, and only one of them is policing,” said Schaefer. “The overwhelming majority of military police officers belong to combat support elements, and they do other things like route security, and reconnaissance, so the only time these guys have had training doing law enforcement was at their initial training.”
“The MPs currently working here are more of a security element, and the MPs that we just trained are doing policing of the area and enforcement of the laws based on the policies,” said Sergeant 1st Class Alex Sanay, the provost marshal operations noncommissioned officer. “Their [Law Enforcement MPs] gear is completely different from a regular MP. They are identified differently. They don’t wear the same body armor, and they don’t use military vehicles for patrol.”
According to Schaefer, the course was split into two; one class focused on sergeant and below, and the other focused on staff sergeant and above. A total of 35 military police tasks were trained.
“The E5 and below course was a seven-day course that included everything from classroom instruction to practical exercises,” said Schaefer. “The E6 and above course was a two-day course, and that was all classroom block.”
Schaefer said the classroom block for the sergeants and below covered areas like the use of force, apprehension procedures, traffic stops, response to sexual assaults, response to domestic disturbances, protecting a crime scene, and proper completion of all required paperwork that goes along with it the various duties but focused heavily on the practical side.
Sanay said they focused heavily on field drills for the sergeant’s and below, giving them a chance to walk through the training model and apply things they learned in class.
“That’s essential because, ideally, anyone can read a book, but I think doing the exercise with them and teaching them the right and wrongs and actually going out there to the area where they are going to be policing is important because they’ll become familiar with the area and they’ll know exactly where to respond and how to do something,” said Sanay.
Schaefer said the course for the staff sergeant’s and above focused mainly on how to correct the required paperwork while also covering search warrants, orders of protection, policing methods, and strategies.
By the end of the training, approximately 35 sergeants and below and at least five staff sergeants and above completed the training and were certified to enforce the rules, laws, regulations, and policies of their area of responsibility.