Written by Spc. Grant Ligon
40th Public Affairs Detachment
Fort Campbell, KY – The 502nd Military Police Battalion Criminal Investigation Command conducted a change of command ceremony January 4th, 2019. The mission for 502nd remains the same.
Incoming commander, Lt. Col. Richard Stearns, seeks to ensure that his agents are taken care of and have the right training and resources to conduct investigations. CID agents not only go through normal law enforcement training that military police receive, but also take on additional federal training to enhance understanding of the intricacies of the legal, judicial, general crime scene and forensic processes.
CID is one of the few units that conduct their wartime mission in a garrison environment operating all year-round, at all hours of the day. CID conducts felony investigations of serious crimes, including sexual assault, fraud and others.
CID’s goal is to get to the truth, whether that’s bringing someone to justice through investigation or exonerating a soldier that was wrongly accused or victim of a crime.
“There is special victim investigators, that CID has brought on board that have special training and deal with victims,” said Stearns. “If they have any issues from prostitution, to an uptick in sexual harassments or sexual assaults, they can work with those specific commanders. Either on an installation wide thing, or targeting specific units as well.”
The role of the special victim investigator is multi-faceted. “One, to lessen impact of getting questioned about the events that took place, and two, provide us a better opportunity to get information from the victim with the least amount of negative impact to that victim.”
CID also works along with the Judge Advocate General Corps and provides attorneys when a victim comes forward or is identified. This helps the victim prepare for interviews and their case, if their case should go to trial.
“If they choose, commanders then have the ability with properly prepared cases to put those soldiers out of the military or train them and rehabilitate them back into the force,” said Stearns. “So that soldier fits into a formation and is ready to deploy anywhere, at any time, within the world.”
The 502nd has six detachments across a 14 state area of responsibility, each one set at the major installation they fall on. CID works with local commanders, the detachment commander, a senior warrant officer, detachment sergeants, senior special agent NCO on issues of concern. Those issues are then brought to the Garrison commanders and the senior tactical commanders.
The outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Whitney Jensen felt honored to have maintained the rigorous standards required for the CID while she served in the role since November 22nd, 2016.
“In order to ensure that we have everyone’s mindset on the mission at hand, to fight and win our nations wars,” said Jensen. “It’s imperative that we have good order and discipline throughout the ranks.”
Jensen will continue her career as a new selectee for Senior Service College.