New Military Police Training Center

By Hoffmann, John | Law & Order, March 2000 | Go to article overview

New Military Police Training Center


Hoffmann, John, Law & Order


Offers Courses for Local Law Enforcement

the United States Army Military Police moved its training center from Ft. McClellan, Ala., to Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., last year. Whereas previously the Army was forced to modify assigned areas to meet the needs of MP training, the change allowed the Army to build an all-new facility designed especially for law enforcement and corrections training.

And now-in addition to training more than 16,000 soldiers and officers serving in MP roles-the Army is offering civilian law enforcement an opportunity to participate in some of its classes.

The training base is set up in two divisions, of which one is specifically for military police training. Some courses with open seats are available to civilian law enforcement.

The school also offers Counterdrug Training (with classes geared toward civilian law enforcement) funded by the Department of Defense as part of the federal government's overall anti-drug policy-which dates back to 1989 legislation and execufive orders. All classes are free; the Counterdrug Training classes provide free room and board as well. A staff of 47 instructors (and others on contract) will train 3,200 members of civilian law enforcement this year.

"We have a brand new facility - and probably the best police firearms range in the nation," Rick Hinson, Chief of Advanced Law Enforcement Training, said with pride.

The base has a "Hogan's Alley" style district, which includes a working police station where students conduct practical exercises. Eight buildings offer video and audio recording so as to record students' exercises for later critiques.

Among the Counterdrug course topics offered by the Advance LE Training Division are Special Reaction Team, Marksmen Observer, Drug Investigations, Drug Commanders, Field Tactical Police Operations, Narco-Terrorism Personal Protection, Crisis Negotiations and Basic Analytical Intelligence Analysis. More courses are on the way, according to Hinson.

"The government opened a new HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) office in Kansas City. We are now getting input from local police asking for more meth lab enforcement training," he said.

Among the regular MP courses most popular with civilian law enforcement are those dealing with child abuse and domestic violence crimes. The center offers five classes in Child Abuse Investigation a year and 12 to 14 classes in Domestic Violence Investigation. The Child Abuse Investigation course is over eight days with the final three days dealing with crime scene investigation techniques.

The 82-officer Missouri Water Patrol has been a user of the MP's Advanced Training Schools since before it moved away from Ft. McClellan.

"The training provided at Ft. Leonard Wood is very helpful," said Water Patrol Superintendent Larry Whitten. "The base has large wooded areas similar to areas where we work."

The Water Patrol, which has sent 20 officers to the MP's Special Response School, made 1,700 drug arrests last year, according to Whitten, and they have assisted sheriff's offices in many major criminal investigations and manhunts.

"We complement other law enforcement agencies and get called out for a lot of searches by rural sheriffs," he said. "I want the Water Patrol to be prepared for any drug and paramilitary groups they might encounter. …

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