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  • Question for Military Police

    What do you do when you are sent to arrest someone that is higher rank then you? Are MP's considered above rank when it comes to enforcing the laws?
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  • #2
    Not to say it doesn't happen, but that sounds really Hollywoodish.

    Comment


    • #3
      This is how it was when I was in the military, many, many years ago.

      They have the authority to arrest (referred to in the military as "apprehend") regardless of rank. When the person to be arrested is an officer, the arrest will be cleared in advance, except in case of urgency. When an apprehension is to be made in a rank-sensitive circumstance, the MPs would notify their superior first if time permits. The person apprehended is then taken to the commissioned officer in charge, who then decides whether to keep him in custody. So the officer in charge acts like a magistrate.

      In the situation you posit, where the MPs are specifically sent to arrest someone, I would expect that they would be acting at the direction of a superior and entitled to presume that the order was valid. I would expect that, ordinarily, when it is known in advance that someone is to be taken into custody for an offense that is not serious, he would be directed to report to his superior or his company or commanding officer. A commissioned officer would be directed to report to the CO or XO.

      On Army and Marine Corps bases, there is normally a Provost Marshal, a commissioned officer whose duties include supervising the MPs, and I expect that he would made the decision about keeping the person in custody (called "under restraint"), consulting superiors as necessary. When the person to be kept under restraint is a commissioned or warrant officer, the decision must be made by the officer in charge of the base; on a ship, it is made by the captain.
      Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
      Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

      Comment


      • #4
        Their authority comes from the base commanding officer and are acting on his behalf. So unless it's the base commander they are arresting they are acting with higher authority then anyone else on the base.

        CID and NIS agents that are actually in the service (some are and some aren't) do not wear rank and are not required to reveal theirs when conducting an investigation.
        Today's Quote:

        "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
        Albert Einstein

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Till View Post
          Not to say it doesn't happen, but that sounds really Hollywoodish.
          Why is that?
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            I am sure arresting someone higher in rank does occur, with DUI being a common example.
            Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
            Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by DAL View Post
              I am sure arresting someone higher in rank does occur, with DUI being a common example.
              Seeing as how many of the MPs running around are PFCs and SPCs, yes arresting of higher rank occurs often.
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Mp


                Look at how many commissioned officers (many of them field grade) are stopped for speeding on post and are given tickets.

                Sure, it is not a 'custodial arrest' by any stretch; but is a brief detention. When you are stopped by an enlisted MP and you are an officer, all courtesy still applies and they'll call you "sir" or "ma'am" as they issue you a summons.


                The MP's working at the front gate also carry the authority of the post commander and you are required to follow their direction regardless of your rank or theirs. That black & white arm band on their shoulder is more powerful at times than a bird or a star perched atop your epaulet or affixed to your collar.


                The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

                The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

                ------------------------------------------------

                "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KY Blue 72 View Post
                  Seeing as how many of the MPs running around are PFCs and SPCs, yes arresting of higher rank occurs often.
                  I would hope that the MPs who patrol (rather than guard gates) would have a bit more experience.

                  Many years ago, when I was doing my ACDUTRA at NSA I rode around with the Ft. Meade MPs one night for lack of anything better to do. I think they were mostly E4s. We went to a few disturbances. I think the most senior personnel we encountered were E6s. I outranked everyone and was in uniform and that seemed to end matters.
                  Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                  Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DAL View Post
                    I would hope that the MPs who patrol (rather than guard gates) would have a bit more experience.

                    Many years ago, when I was doing my ACDUTRA at NSA I rode around with the Ft. Meade MPs one night for lack of anything better to do. I think they were mostly E4s. We went to a few disturbances. I think the most senior personnel we encountered were E6s. I outranked everyone and was in uniform and that seemed to end matters.
                    These days there are a lot of young kids that are MPs. Believe it or not, I have seen more PFCs as MPs than I have SPCs. That might just be coincidence but they are definitely not that high in rank.
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KY Blue 72 View Post
                      These days there are a lot of young kids that are MPs. Believe it or not, I have seen more PFCs as MPs than I have SPCs. That might just be coincidence but they are definitely not that high in rank.
                      I am sure there are. I just thought the really junior ones would be guarding gates or at least working with someone more senior. Eighteen-year-olds are generally not very good at exercising judgment. At least they get more law=enforcement training now, from what I have heard. I think MP school was only six weeks back in the 70s.
                      Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                      Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KY Blue 72 View Post
                        Why is that?
                        For some reason A Few Good Men popped into my head when I read about a lower ranking officer going after a higher-ranking one.

                        Disregard.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There are very few MP's on patrol now a days anyways. At the bases in my areas most DUI's are cite and release after being apprehended. Any "arrest" is done by a commissioned officer of the various branches.

                          Any MP/NCO/Warrant Officer/Commissioned Officer can do an apprehension for a violation of the UCMJ. When I was an SP, I got a 1 star for DUI. He was given a reprimand for the violation.

                          As a civilian police officer for both the army and navy at Walter Reed and the Naval District Of Washington, it was not uncommon to stop or apprehend a commissioned officer.
                          I don't answer recruitment messages....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We have Seaman Recruits (E-1s) on patrol here. I'm an E-2 and do I patrol more days than not. If we witness a violation or we are called to a disturbance or a scene we are in control. We are respectful towards higher ranking personnel. However, there is a reason why we were called there or there is a reason why we stopped the said individual. It doesn't matter what their rank is if they violated the law or base policy. I wish I had a nickel every time an officer or a chief tried to punk me because I'm a junior sailor. Thankfully, our watch commanders and security officer have our backs.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DAL View Post
                              On Army bases, there is normally a Provost Marshal, a commissioned officer whose duties include supervising the MPs,
                              Errr.....that's changing..... A lot of Instillations have civilians running the show now......

                              Comment

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