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Reserve Marines Train Base MPs
By Sgt. Richard W. Holtgraver, Jr.
MCB Hawaii

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.

picture of high risk traffic stop exercises
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 stop exercises.
(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 it."

Much of the lectures by the reservists concentrated on felony vehicle stops and
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 Niezgoda.

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 lectures.

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 situations.

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, said Neizgoda.

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 communities. red ribbon icon

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