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  • MP or civi cop

    I got 2 years left on my contract. Am thinking about doing lateral move over to MP field. But I was thinking, "why be an MP when I could do the same thing on the civilian side and make more money? And plus not get deployed."
    Anyways my question is for former MP's now serving as civi LE. How do you compare MP to civi LE. Does it help when making the transition to regular cop?

  • #2
    I am an ex-Army MP and now a Deputy Sheriff. Although I enjoyed the majority of my time as an MP, I wouldn't re-enlist no matter what they tried to pay me. Let me explain...

    MP's are currently the force of choice and therefore are being deployed non-stop to Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, the days of garrison duty for MP's is all but gone. Very few installations are policed completely by MP's, and most installations are transitioning to civilian DA, DOD Police. CID is probably the only aspect of the MP Corps. which is still comprised of soldiers who conduct criminal investigations. However, I think civilian NCIS agents handle everything in the Marine Corps. Even CID or NCIS agents are being deployed at a high rate as well. An MP (at least in the Army) now is nothing more than mechanized infantry or a Cav Scout with a brassard.

    If you want to stay in the military and conduct LE, then go CID or NCIS if they have enlisted agents. If not, due your time, go back to college, go through the academy and become a civilian police officer. As a civilian LEO, you will be given more responsibility on the first day of your job than you could ever hope to achieve as an enlisted MP. You won't have some NCO who has no clue about police work trying to tell you what to do. You won't have to turn in your 9mm pistol into the arms room every night, and you'll receive more trainining than the crash course they throw at you in the Military Police school.

    I can't speak for how the Marine Corps operates right now in regards to MP's, but I can't imagine they are much different. Some MP's might still get to check ID cards at the gate or something, but that's not something worth re-enlisting for.

    Hope this helps, and good luck.
    Last edited by MIDeputy; 04-16-2007, 07:05 PM.

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    • #3
      I was an MP on active duty and then went into the reserve where I spent the last 10 or so years. The active MP's (Army) use to do a lot of the LE functions at the forts and camps and other assorted places, but the Army seems to be turning the posts over to the civilians, DoD and DA types, to free the soldiers up to get shot up. I am not sure if the USMC is doing the same thing, but I imagine if they are not now, they will be in the near future.

      So if you want to do LE, Civilian is the way to go. Not a retention NCO, but there are a lot of things outside LE that MPs do thet is a lot of fun and can be exciting. Protection, EPW Ops, K9, CID, MPI, Training. These are all good jobs and involve some sort of LE related work. Problems is, most of them are currently done in Iraq, Afgan, Kuwait, Baharain, Qatar the horn of africa, blah, blah, blah. If you really want to stay in the USMC, try one of those out. Its not about the money.

      I would rather be back at the PD working a regular old patrol. Its much more fun and less stressful.
      It takes a Wolf.......

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      • #4
        Go civilian, You can only be ordered to do something when your on-duty. Off-duty.. your free (unless you get called in.)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by devil_dawg
          I got 2 years left on my contract. Am thinking about doing lateral move over to MP field. But I was thinking, "why be an MP when I could do the same thing on the civilian side and make more money? And plus not get deployed."
          Anyways my question is for former MP's now serving as civi LE. How do you compare MP to civi LE. Does it help when making the transition to regular cop?
          Not sure what you do now for the Corps.....but my last agency hired (2) USMC MPs when they got out of service. Both had been to Afganistan....both had been in combat....both had been shot....and both had Purple Hearts to show for it (one had a SS which was cool as hell all things considering since I had never seen one before)....

          I would stay where you are at.....keep your nose clean.....get a good discharge....if you can, get some college......

          Start figuring out where in the hell you want to land when you get out and start researching the Agencies around there.....and go from there.....Most agencies have some sort of web info.....

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          • #6
            Thanks for all the replies guys. Right now i'm an artillery man and there's apparently not much of a need for artillery in Iraq because most artillery battalions and batterys are getting deployed as provisional MP companies doing convoy security, vehicle checkpoints etc..(MP stuff) I guess we're hurting for MP's but looks like their all ending up in Iraq but then again WE'RE ALL ending up in Iraq regardless of MOS. Anyways, it seems like MP's have way too may restrictions as far what they can and can't do....besides write chickens......t tickets all day.

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            • #7
              Easy transition from Arty to MP. i think the GT scores are the same. I worked with a bunch of Arty folks in an MP capasity. They were a good time. i love how the Army calls the E-7's "Smoke". The guys I worked with started calling me and the other two SOG's "Smoke" about 3 months into their tour. Good group of guys.
              It takes a Wolf.......

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              • #8
                If your looking to do LE work, not many bases left where MP's are still in a Full LE capacity.

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                • #9
                  I was a Marine MP in Hawaii and it wasn't bad. Now i can't compare it to civilian LE. Now we did have our share of domestic violence calls, drug bust, DWI/DUIs, sucides, burglerys and prostitution. You name it we had it. You also have diffrent areas that you can move into farly easy like K-9, CID, Traffic, SRT. While your working your shift it isnt that bad your able to be a cop and be proactive with the community.

                  Now the bad part is your time off when you have your monthly training, range, battalion PT and Company PT. All the monthly BS starts to add up. The hours are 12 hour shifts and everyother weekend is a 3 day weekend.

                  Slowly the Corps is putting civilians into MP slots like Dispatching and Gate sentry some bases already have them on patrol.

                  My advice to you is try and get FAPed out to the MPs since you have 2 years left on your contract. Some of our best MPs were FAPs. You will get alot of experience with the MP field and then from there you will be able to make a better decision.

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                  • #10
                    Civilian hands down!

                    just think two words - union & overtime

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                    • #11
                      On top of union, and overtime think no contract, no deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan for 15 months, and you can quit and go somewhere else with better pay, benefits, working conditions etc. IMHO if you want to be a cop first and foremost then go civilian. However, if you want to be a Marine, Soldier, Airman, Sailor first and play cop every now and again, then stay in the military. Ultimately, it is your decision if you want to continue your military service or put forth the effort to become a civilian LEO.

                      I made the decision that becoming a civilian LEO was my ultimate goal, and the military was merely a stepping stone to achieving that. When I made the decision to get out of the Army and go civilian, it's proven to be one of the best choices I've ever made.

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                      • #12
                        I can't speak for Army MP's, and it seems plenty has been said already, but I was a Marine MP in the 80's/early 90's and we performed strictly law enforcement on our bases. Like the Marine above said, we had plenty of 'regular' police calls, DV's, DUIs, burgs, robberies, rapes and even boring *** traffic control type stuff. The opportunity to specialize in SRT (our SWAT unit), K9, etc was there as well. But then, I was active duty during peace time so not sure what their role is now.

                        I'm currently a police officer in Washington state and I know, like in most of the country, we're hurting for qualified applicants so that's definately an option.

                        The pay is definately better with a civ PD and the retirement is a lot better as well. Some departments will either pay entirely for your education (if you choose to continue) or may reimburse you for it...but then some don't have any educational benefits at all. Definately something to look into before applying.

                        However, in my experience, MP's don't get sued as much as civ police and they get a whole hell of a lot more girls than civ cops...(at least the Marines do!)
                        US Police Jobs.com The only site to offer detailed information for over 900 Police Departments as well as comprehensive explanations for each step of the police hiring process.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by devil_dawg
                          I got 2 years left on my contract. Am thinking about doing lateral move over to MP field. But I was thinking, "why be an MP when I could do the same thing on the civilian side and make more money? And plus not get deployed."
                          Anyways my question is for former MP's now serving as civi LE. How do you compare MP to civi LE. Does it help when making the transition to regular cop?
                          Devil Dawg,

                          I see your currently at Camp Pendleton. I'm not sure if you plan on staying in Southern California, but if you are, now is a great time to get into civilian LE.
                          Just about every agency down here is hiring big time and most are offering signing bonuses.

                          Agencies look highly on military experience, regardless of your MOS. Most of the former military guys I have met on my department were not MPs, including myself.

                          Agencies are more interested in the discipline and life experience you gain from the military rather than what your job was. Most agencies would rather have someone they can mold into the officer/deputy/trooper they want them to be.

                          Just like the best shots on the range during boot camp are usually the guys that never picked up a rifle before, because they don't have to relearn anything and they don't have bad shooting habits.

                          MP training and work is not the same as what we do in the civilian world. There are similarities, but it's definetly not the same. Like the other folks have said, the stability, pay and benefits that are offered in the civilian world cannot be matched by the military.

                          I was hired by my agency about six months after I returned from Iraq. The department has been great to me and they really value the experience combat veterans bring to the job.

                          Good luck and stay safe
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            I was a former MP and am on terminal leave as we speak waiting for the start date of my training with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department in about 2 weeks. I left the MP core because I found something better a job on the outside working in Law Enforcement, I had the chance of working in the L&O section for the MP's and also the Field section now with the Field section of MP's you get a little more rest time you work monday-friday you get all your training hoildays off and you might have to pull CQ every month or so with the L&O part you work shifts that are some times 13 or 14 hours long if you count guard mount in as a factor.

                            I have been deployed three times twice to OEF and once to OIF with Fort Drum and it was really playing a toll on me, I have seen people with jobs lined up on the outside only to get stop lossed by the military and have to deploy again. I missed stop loss by about three days. If I was you I would take a look at some of the department on the outside start testing with them and only if you still have not found anything before its time to get out would I give the re-up a though you have to take care of yourself first. Dont get out the army because some one has made you upset but get out because you have found something better it puts food on the table and at the end of the day that is all thats going to matter.

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                            • #15
                              Here's how I made my decision when it came time to decide whether to re-enlist or ETS. I thought, do I want to be in the Army as a career or do I want to do something else? I decided I enjoyed my time in the Army but didn't want to do it as a career. Like someone said, its a good (VERY GOOD) stepping stone...use it as such and pursue something in the civilian world. Why re-enlist and do another term of service if you aren't planning on staying in for 20+?

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