MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Editor’s note: This is the third article of a four-part series on Protecting MCLB.
“They’re back!” This time the infamous line from Carol Anne in the 1986 thriller “Poltergeist II: The Other Side,” pertains to the much anticipated return of Marines to the role of military police.
According to the Web site, www.usmccle.com, the Marine Corps initiated the civilian police force in 2005 and established Marine Corps Civilian Police Departments at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga., Barstow, Calif., and Blount Island Command, Jacksonville, Fla.
“Marine Corps military police are trained for both garrison and field duty, meaning they can work stateside on military installations or be deployed to the current overseas contingency operations,” said Gunnery Sgt. Adam Iudiciani, special operations chief, Marine Corps Police Department, MCLB Albany. “My assignment now is to integrate the civilian police force here with the military police as a combined joint force whose main role is to protect the base and its assets.”
While Marines around the Corps deployed worldwide to fill critical requirements of national defense, civilian-Marines were hired to sustain operations here at home. The expansion of the civilian police force reduced the operational stress on Marine Corps Military Police Departments and enhanced security and police services, as noted on the Headquarters Marine Corps Security Division’s Web site, http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/pp&o/ps/PS_Security_Division_Home.asp.
“With the civilians, you gain a lot of civilian experience because many of them are former police officers from other departments and several have military experience because they are former service members,” Iudiciani said. “Once you combine the two, you get hundreds of years of law enforcement experience. It’s a win-win for everybody. There are currently five of us who are in various phases of checking in and another eight or so are expected soon.”
According to information posted on the HQMC Security Division’s Web site, civilian police officers undergo nine weeks of training at the Marine Corps Police Academy, either at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., or Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.
They are equipped with the fundamental training and education needed to begin work. Dependent upon their jobs, selected civilian police are sent for further development and taught basic military protocol and Marine Corps rules of engagement.
“Based upon the security requirements, it was deemed necessary that a blended force was best suited to fulfill our law enforcement and security mission here at MCLB Albany,” said Sean Lamonzs, deputy chief of police, Public Safety Division. “The Marine MPs will fill a number of managerial roles as well as perform the same duties as our civilian officers. They will be blended in and will function in the same overall capacity.”
Operations officer Mike Reynolds said the police department can increase its personnel with Marines to elevate the police force, which gives them more unit cohesion working with civilians.
“The great thing about integrating the department is that the Marines already understand the protocol and procedures of working on a military installation.
Sometimes it can take a little longer for the civilians to learn the rank structure and chain of command, but together, they balance each other out,” he said.
After more than two years of having a civilian-only police force, the integration of Marine and civilian military police is a change every installation will go through, according to base officials.
“As the Marines arrive, they are being incorporated into structured positions previously fulfilled by civilian officers. The future intent of the Marine Corps Civilian Law Enforcement Program is for Marines and civilians to work in unison as a cohesive team at each of the installations,” said Randy Jack, chief, Marine Corps Police Department, MCLB Albany. “I feel the return of the Marines gives rebirth to the long-standing history and traditions our Marine Corps community is accustomed to seeing as they come through the gates at MCLB Albany.”