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Fort Campbell’s 716th Military Police Battalion trains to keep the peace at home

 

Written by Sgt. Leejay Lockhart
101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs

101st Sustainment Brigade - LifelinersFort Campbell KY - 101st Airborne Division

Fort Campbell, KY – Military police from the 716th Military Police Battalion, supported by the 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, trained on responding to domestic violence incidents February 26th at Fort Campbell. The scenario was the final portion of law enforcement training on how to safely respond to a domestic violence call and professionally handle the situation.

Soldiers from the 163rd Military Police Detachment, 716th MP Bn., ran the scenario out of an unused residence on the installation.

Pvt. Swann Boyd, a Military Police assigned to the 218th Military Police Company, 716th Military Police Battalion, supported by the 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, takes a statement from Spc. Brian Bump, a member of the Fort Campbell Special Reaction Team portraying a victim of domestic abuse, during a domestic violence training scenario Feb. 26 at Fort Campbell, Ky.  (Sgt. Leejay Lockhart, 101st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Pvt. Swann Boyd, a Military Police assigned to the 218th Military Police Company, 716th Military Police Battalion, supported by the 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, takes a statement from Spc. Brian Bump, a member of the Fort Campbell Special Reaction Team portraying a victim of domestic abuse, during a domestic violence training scenario Feb. 26 at Fort Campbell, Ky. (Sgt. Leejay Lockhart, 101st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Teams of MPs going through the law enforcement training cycle would arrive at the residence, receive a brief on the scenario, and then proceed as if it was a real domestic violence call. Inside they encountered role players portraying the victim and their spouse.

The MPs would then have to assess the situation, questions those involved, and take the perpetrator into custody.

However, the scenario didn’t end with arresting the suspect. They had to simulate taking the alleged perpetrator to the police station, questioning them and filling out all of the paperwork associated with the incident. Throughout the entire exercise the trainers were providing feedback and tips to the Soldiers.

“One of the most volatile situations a MP can walk into is a domestic violence situation and this just kind of prepares them for actually responding,” said Sgt. Ronald J. Wheat III, a military police investigator assigned to the 163rd MP Det. and one of the lead trainers. “We did the walk and crawl phase earlier in the month and this is there actual eval. This is as close as we can get to a real domestic situation without actually having one.”

Sgt. Ronald J. Wheat III, a lead trainer for a domestic violence training scenario and military police investigator assigned to the 163rd Military Police Detachment, 716th Military Police Battalion, supported by the 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, gives guidance on filling out police paperwork to Spc. Brian Coates, a Military Police assigned to the 218th Military Police Company, during a domestic violence training scenario Feb. 26 at Fort Campbell, Ky.  (Sgt. Leejay Lockhart, 101st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Sgt. Ronald J. Wheat III, a lead trainer for a domestic violence training scenario and military police investigator assigned to the 163rd Military Police Detachment, 716th Military Police Battalion, supported by the 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, gives guidance on filling out police paperwork to Spc. Brian Coates, a Military Police assigned to the 218th Military Police Company, during a domestic violence training scenario Feb. 26 at Fort Campbell, Ky. (Sgt. Leejay Lockhart, 101st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

MPs patrolling the roads respond to reports from those involved in domestic violence incidents or from neighbors calling in reports. Part of the scenario required the responders to try and gather as much information from the dispatcher before they arrived at the residence, including if there were registered weapons at the residence, if there had been any previous domestic violence at the residence, and any other information provided by the person reporting the domestic violence.

“Most of the time it is after the where the victim calls us and says this is what happened,” said Wheat, but he added that it could have been a neighbor that heard something or one of the parties calling in while it was happening.

Once at the scene, the MPs had to enter the home, gather facts about the incident, and then safely apprehend the role player portraying the perpetrator. Wheat and the other trainers provided ways to de-escalate the situation.

They also reminded the MPs going through the training on the importance of thoroughly searching anyone they arrest and providing them examples of how people can conceal weapons or possess innocuous looking items that are actually weapons.

“Safety is important to the point that everything we do revolves around it – where you situate your subject and your victim, you keep eyes on your partner and you’re never alone,” said Wheat. “It’s officer safety all the time. As long as at the end of the day everybody gets to go home at the end of their shift we can figure out everything else.”

The training also had the MPs filling out all of the paperwork associated with the incident, and the trainers gave them tips on how to do it accurately and efficiently, recording as much information as possible for any future criminal trials.

Specialist Brian Coates, a MP assigned to the 218th Military Police Company, said he learned how to defuse the situation and correctly do the paperwork during the training. He said the training taught him to remain vigilant in every situation he encountered.

“Not taking things for granted, [you’ve] got to make sure you’re aware of your surroundings at all times … you can keep people calm by talking to them differently, by asking them different questions, being more friendly with them,” said Coates. “I’m going to be more open to people, pay more attention to the subtle things.”

Spc. Brian Coates, a military police officer assigned to the 218th Military Police Company, 716th Military Police Battalion, supported by the 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, questions Spc. Trenton Taitague, a member of the Fort Campbell Special Reaction Team portraying a domestic abuse perpetrator, during a domestic violence training scenario Feb. 26 at Fort Campbell.  (Sgt. Leejay Lockhart, 101st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Spc. Brian Coates, a military police officer assigned to the 218th Military Police Company, 716th Military Police Battalion, supported by the 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, questions Spc. Trenton Taitague, a member of the Fort Campbell Special Reaction Team portraying a domestic abuse perpetrator, during a domestic violence training scenario Feb. 26 at Fort Campbell. (Sgt. Leejay Lockhart, 101st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

Many of the MPs on Fort Campbell having a rotating cycle of duties that include patrolling Fort Campbell, working the access control points to the base, and training for both law enforcement and deployment missions.

However, military police investigators like Wheat and other Soldiers from the 163rd MP Det. are a resource the first responders can use even outside of the training environment to help make Fort Campbell a safer place.

“We investigate general crimes that take more assets than what the normal military police patrol can handle during their tour of duty, so anything that requires substantial investigation over a period of time is what we do,” said Wheat.

He also said they also serve as a liaison between the patrols and the investigators working at the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, which is commonly known as CID. They also provide a source of continuity for the law enforcement community and can provide information about any relevant previous criminal activity at a location.

As Soldiers cycled through the training, Wheat said they were doing a great job with the scenario and learning as went through it.

“Training has went great,” said Wheat. “They’re taking every critique and every personal experience that myself and the role players have and they’re taking it to heart. They’re putting it in their tool box and hopefully they’ll be able to apply that later on when we work with them in the next couple months.”

As he finished his scenario, Coates said it had been really helpful and had given him some different ways to approach a domestic violence situation. He spoke about why it’s so important for an MP to be ready to respond when the times comes.

“Because that person who had it done to them they’re calling for help,” said Coates. “You’re going to help them, stop whatever happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”


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