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    What is the distinction between military police and other types of law enforcement?

  • #2
    MPs and their equivalents are military personnel, who can be deployed, subject to UCMJ, can't quit their jobs whenever, have to shave and cut their hair, etc. More job micromanagement generally. I've only worked with a handful of ex-MPs and most of them were terrible, but I think that's more of an ego thing, thinking they already know everything because they're MPs. They also sometimes attend advanced classes at the state academies. Their jurisdiction is on military bases and I believe for military personnel off-base as well. They also get deployed.

    Most bases have a combination of military law enforcement and civilian federal employee law enforcement (0083 series). The latter tend to be older, more laid back, prior/retired LE or MPs from what I've seen.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Johngrey8220 View Post
      What is the distinction between military police and other types of law enforcement?

      Can you be a little more specific?


      • #4
        Military Police, to my knowledge, have the primary duty of supporting military operations both domestically and abroad. While they may engage in typical police duties, they substantially engage in operations such as convoys, rear area security, traffic control in combat areas, securing high value assets, and more. To my knowledge, traditional law enforcement is one duty of military police, but they are a combat support force with a wide range of duties.

        This is not first hand information, and I am open to being corrected.


        • #5
          Base policing for MP's seems to be waning. More DOD civilian police it seems. Not sure why, maybe due to MP's being deployed.


          • #6
            I believe MPs are first and foremost soldiers. They can be assigned any task a soldier might be assigned. While they are most likely going to be assigned tasks that are best handled by MPs, they can be assigned any task a soldier might be assigned. They may not spend their entire career as an MP. I believe the Marine Corps is either greatly reducing or eliminating MPs altogether. That means that USMC MPs that want to remain in the Marine Corps have to change jobs. I believe the military assigns personnel based on the needs of the service, even if that means retraining somebody for a new job.

            The handful of former MPs I have known spent only a portion of their careers doing what was substantially typical police work akin to a city police officer.

            When I said first soldiers, that could be sailors, airmen, or Marines as appropriate.

            As I said before, I am not an MP or in the military. I am open to being corrected..


            • #7
              MP's have a war time mission and a peace time mission. Then there's the corrections side of the house. There's a LOT this question covers.

              The do perform regular law enforcement duties just like your local law enforcement. How they do it may depend on their location, the person or subject of the police encounter / investigation, if the base has a magistrate judge or not and local SOPs. Civilian offenders are processed and turned over to civilian authorities.

              When I was in we criminal "charges" we charged with UCMJ but if it was a civilian we used the applicable US Code for the offense. For traffic related offenses we used the state's codes. I don't remember charging anyone with a state crime, other than traffic offenses, when I was active duty.

              I've found some old YouTube videos from several decades ago when MP'S patrolled off base for soldiers breaking the law.

              FWIW when I was in Korea in the 90's they were talking about starting up a highway patrol with MP's conducting traffic enforcement on US military personnel. I don't know if they followed through with it because I got orders for Ft Hood.


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