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NEWS | May 5, 2016

Military shares, draws knowledge from the Thin Blue Line

By Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Lazo 200th Military Police Command

FORT MEADE, MD -- Many military occupations have a civilian counterpart performing similar, if not identical, day-to-day operations. Military nurses and their civilian counterparts treat the wounded; military and civilian engineers design and build structures.  The vast majority of them need not talk to each other as part of their everyday duties.

What if they did?

In the case of law enforcement, communication and cooperation cannot only mean protecting their own respective communities, but doing the same for the others. This especially rings true in the mass shootings seen in recent years.

The Washington Navy Yard and Fort Hood shootings demonstrated cooperation was necessary. These events and others were discussed during the Military Cooperation Committee - also known as CLEMCC - meeting at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts April 16 and 17.  The event was co-hosted by the Massachusetts National Guard and Natick Police Department, and organized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

IACP’s CLEMCC acts as a leading body between the military law enforcement and civilian law enforcement agencies to get after addressing best practices and enhancing collaborative efforts to better serve our shared communities. The IACP’s motto, “Serving the Leaders of Today, Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow,” speaks to the more than 100-year old organization’s commitment to serve the needs of law enforcement communities around the globe, according to many of its members.

One of its past successes addressed the challenge of exclusive jurisdiction on military installations.  In the case of a major incident, this meant civilian law enforcement would be hindered in supporting MPs in responding if they lacked jurisdiction.   

A resolution was developed and approved for IACP to support this proposal within legislation.  The proposal was inserted and passed in the National Defense Authorization Act last year.

For military law enforcement leaders within the Department of Defense, looking at civilian law enforcement for trends can help when discussing policy.

For civilian law enforcement agencies, the benefits come from understanding how the military conducts their operations, having an additional resource when needed, and unique training opportunities for their personnel.  

In the case of training, Lt. Col. John Dunn, commander of the 159th Military Police Battalion (Criminal Investigation Division), provided information to attendees on the Guardian Shield exercise, hosted by the Army Reserve’s 200th MP Command.

The training is conducted for special agents within the command, the vast majority of which are civilian law enforcement officers when not performing military duty.

Guardian Shield also provides slots for federal, state or local law enforcement departments to send their personnel, and includes FBI-approved hostage negotiation training and classes derived from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

“The training has and continues to evolve and develop between very skill-based training we can only do with more people,” said Dunn, “and more classroom certification-type training and instruction.

“Instruction that we need to have in order to allow our agents to get certified and trained in particular areas – based on mission set needs we need to address.”

Previous iterations have included attendees from foreign countries, including Canada.

Besides future training opportunities, the committee also discussed other areas to explore in future meetings, including high suicide rates, which affects both the military and civilian law enforcement realms.

Additional attendees to the committee meeting included representatives from state-level Department of Justice, U.S. Air Force, American Military University, Canadian Forces military police, Directorate of Emergency Managing Services, Department of Homeland Security, National Guard, and state and local police departments.

For more information on the IACP, please visit: