Train Base MPs
By Sgt. Richard W. Holtgraver, Jr.
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, KANEOHE BAY, Hi(Jan. 17, 2000)
Marine Corps reservists brought their civilian knowledge of crime
fighting and passed it on to Hawaii's military and state police
departments during a 16-hour seminar that included lectures and
practical applications at the MCB Hawaii Military Police Department
on Jan. 17-18.
The six reservists took time from their annual training to give
the two-day seminar, which bolstered the military police's already
extensive training schedule. Members of Air Force police forces,
Pearl Harbor Department of Defense security and Honolulu Police
came to K-Bay to learn from the seminar.
Private First Class Lynn Marie Robbins, a military
police K-9 handler for the MCB Hawaii Military Police Department,
draws a bead on Marine reservist and New York state trooper
Staff Sgt. Scott M. Mahnke during "high risk" traffic
(Photo by: Sgt. Richard W. Holtgraver, Jr.)
"The Marines are seeing the civilian law enforcement side
of the coin, as well as the Marine side, because the instructors
are Marine reservists," said Staff Sgt. Jon D. Jerome, training
chief for the Military Police Department, MCB Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay.
"The Marine military police here are getting valuable knowledge
of what to expect from the civilian community, and how to handle
Much of the lectures by the reservists concentrated on felony vehicle
drug interdiction in today's modern society.
"What we want to impart here is civilian police experience
and knowledge," said Warrant Officer Patrick E. Morrow, a Buffalo
police officer. "The classroom instructions on tactical awareness
to the practical application classes on felony vehicle stops will
help the Marines become physically and mentally sound in the performance
of their duties."
One of the reservists, Sgt. Michael Niezgoda, a N.Y. State trooper,
was involved in a shooting in the line of duty just a week prior
to coming to Oahu, and he brought much of that particular on-the-job
experience to his lectures.
"I want to keep the Marines and the other branches of service,
as well as the local civilian police agencies here abreast of what
is going on in today's day and age of officer survival," said
Some of the most important information passed on to the police officers
was how to conduct traffic stops safely, how to be aware for drugs
and weapons, and handcuffing techniques.
In the practical application portion of the seminar, the reservists
acted as law-breakers in certain scenarios, while the students responded
to the situations using the knowledge they were given during the
Role-players realistically portrayed drunken drivers, drug users
and felons in an effort to familiarize what the students could be
up against during what may seem like a routine traffic stop.
After each scenario was complete, the instructors went over what
the students did well, and what they needed to work on in those
In one scenario, the participating M.P.'s believed that a crime
was, or had been committed, but could not investigate any further
because of the lack of physical evidence.
"You have to be very aware of suspects' civil rights,"
Niezgoda told the students afterwards. Police officers have to pay
close attention to the laws that pertain to search and seizure,
He also pointed out that today's criminals are well aware of the
laws that protect them and what the police can and cannot do in
certain situations. Much of the information handed out during the
two days was vital to combating these law-savvy criminals. The knowledge
and experiences shared by the reservists helped them perform their
duties as civilian public servants in the safest manner possible.
With the completion of the seminar, MCB Hawaii military police and
the other Oahu law enforcement agencies can better serve their respective