Commentary

August 1, 2014

MP professional development provides for safer installation

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G.A. Volb
Public Affairs Office

Fort Irwin military police perform training on managing a combative suspect.

Fort Irwin’s military police recently concluded professional development, holding several weeks of both classroom and hands-on instruction.

The intent of the course was to improve on basic law enforcement skills of Fort Irwin’s military police, who already received three weeks of law enforcement training in Army Advanced Individual Training.

For two civilians who participated in the course, Capt. Dennis Johnson said it provided extra training prior to them going to a nine-week academy.

“It’s important for us to build on what is typically a very broad span of information provided our students who, in the military, are usually much younger than in the civilian world,” Johnson said. “In the civilian world a police officer must be 21 to use a hand gun, so they have to be 21 to join law enforcement training. But in the military we can start the process as soon as three years younger.”

Fort Irwin military police officer Pvt. Ashley Chavous applies the proper steps in hand-cuffing techniques on 1st Lt. Sumer Johnson.

Intended for the installation’s new MPs, students were taught how to deal with a variety of minor issues as well as more physical scenarios they might encounter on the job. Functional experts from lawyers to medics and detectives help provide a broader overview of their environment for students.

“Five of our trainees were 19 years old,” Johnson said, “And in about a month they might have to go to a house where a sergeant first class, captain, major or higher lives and these young men and women will have to know how to step in calmly and take control of the situation.”
The two-weeks of training provide military police members with additional tools as they embark on their new career, said Johnson.

Scenarios included responding to domestic disturbances, robberies, high-risk stops and even an active shooter.

The first of its kind here, it’s hoped such training will be included for all new MPs arriving at the installation.

“The training went very well,” said Sgt. Maj. Danny Knell, Fort Irwin’s Provost sergeant major. “It was properly planned, resourced and executed and will have a huge positive impact on the five military police Soldiers and two [Department of the Army Civilian Police officers] as they go through the next stage of the process.”

Knell said such training provides the nexus for a better trained law enforcement officer who will, in turn, provide the community with a better, safer place to live and work.




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