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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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Protecting MCLB

By Pamela Jackson, Public Affairs Specialist | | September 30, 2010

Editor’s note: This is the first of a four-part series on Protecting MCLB.

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, like many military installations, is considered a ‘city within a city.’

Inside the fence is nearly every amenity one would need in a community such as housing, shopping, gas stations, restaurants and emergency services.

Within the emergency services is Criminal Investigation Division. Its staff helps police protect the population here. The Criminal Investigation Division’s primary role is to perform criminal investigative duties, provide technical guidance and supervision to junior CID agents and apprentice investigators, conduct covert operations, personal protective services, hostage negotiations, polygraph examinations, laboratory examinations and liaison with other senior military, civil and federal law enforcement agencies, according to the Web site, www.hqmc.usmc.mil/PP&O/PS/psl/ mosSummary.asp.

“Our office deals with any general crimes, misdemeanor or felony crimes that happen aboard the installation,” said Raymond Berry, chief investigator, CID, MCLB Albany. “It is just like out in town when investigators are called in to investigate a crime, except ours is on behalf of the federal government.”

Berry said all investigations are handled internally by a staff of four instead of calling for outside assistance from local law enforcement.

They also receive their training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center because they deal with federal crimes, not just state statutes.

“Investigators share the same classification as FBI agents, U.S. Marshals and Secret Service agents. If an incident happens out in town that has Marine Corps’ interest, we will work closely with local law enforcement to conduct a joint investigation,” Berry said. “If it involves a Marine or civilian-Marine, our involvement keeps the command informed.”

Berry said they normally investigate around 60 cases each year, some of which are jointly with the Naval Criminal Investigation Division, which handles high dollar and felony cases.

“We handle smaller ones, depending on the dollar amount involved,” he explained. “It can be anything from theft to robbery cases. Having us here is important to the command and installation because we investigate anyone who has access aboard the installation.”

To perform their duties, investigators use a variety of specialized tools and technology to get the job done. One of those tools is a camera with a special flash unit for taking pictures of evidence.

“Typical cameras have built-in strobes that are offset to one side of the lens, and when used, you end up with a real strong light on one side of the image and no lighting on the other,” said Kevin Casey, criminal investigator, CID.

When he uses the specialized camera he can get close to an object and obtain even lighting across the board, Casey noted.

“With this particular lens and camera equipment that is used primarily for evidence collection, we can obtain clear images of serial numbers, blood spatter and latent prints,” he said.

Randy Jack, chief, Marine Corps Police Department, MCLB Albany, said he is very pleased with the job CID has done serving as a liaison with the nearby federal, state and local law enforcement community.

“Often, information is developed that is important to the base’s security concerns,” Jack said. “Several of our CID investigators were previously employed as law enforcement officers in the local area. They have since maintained strong ties with other area departments.”

Jack added that information sharing among the different law enforcement agencies, both on and off base, is the primary tool needed for effective community policing.

“Protecting the base is no small feat because at any given time we have three gates open daily,” Berry said. “The police officers have to remain vigilant at all times, paying attention to everyone (who) comes through the gates. We must have certain security measures in place to protect everyone who lives, works and visits the base.”