Sunday, March 16, 2008

Miltary Police Question...

If I have any readers who are, were, or know an MP, I need a bit of investigative assistance here. Here are my issues:

Are MP's considered to have the same powers as peace officers? Namely, are MP's still considered to be peace officers when they are off duty and off base? Also, are they allowed to carry a firearm when off duty and off base?

Secondly, are MP's allowed to enforce laws off base on folks who are not military personnel?

I have a stalking case a friend is working and we are running into uncharted territory as we have never been MP's, and have never dealt with a case involving an MP.

Any help is appreciated, however, I would prefer responses only from folks who are knowledgeable in this area. No opinion comments on this one please, this is an important one.

Thanks folks.


TheBronze said...

Check your email.

wonderwoman66 said...

Im a retired Navy MA (Master at Arms) which is our version of law enforcement. We were not authorized to enforce any laws while off duty, off base and definitely not authorized to carry. We turned our equipment in every night. We were never allowed to enforce any laws in regards to civilians, unless on base, and if we encountered military personnel committing offenses off base we had to detain them for local LE. Hope this helps. I believe all branches of the armed forces operate under the same Federal laws.

killiondwarf said...

Wonderwoman66 is correct in most of what she stated. I am also a MA (Master at Arms), but the statement about not being authorized to enforce any laws while off duty is incorrect. We are always on duty even when we are off duty when it comes to enforcing rules and regulations according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and local law enforcement (the military version of law and punishable offenses)(our bible). However, our limitations are very strict when outside of the military installation. We must have prior knowledge that the individual is known to be a military member (of any branch) before we can take any type of jurisdiction over that person. Most of the time local law enforcement will allow a military police officer to take the military member and process the paperwork on our side of the house, but the person can still be charged on both side civ. and mil.
No we are not authorized to carry a firearm as military police officers except in certain situations. There are times where a military police officer will work alongside local and state law enforcement and are actually POST certified officers now. That is a completely different situation. Then we have jurisdiction of both military and civilian. That is currently going on in New Orleans, LA with the U.S. Army military police officers. They work the streets in town with NOPD. I hope that this helped a little bit.
Good Luck in the case...

parkerds61 said...

As a retired Air Force Security Forces (SF), here are your answers.

1)Yes, military law enforcement have the same powers but only while in their juristiction (usually on a base). But when the situation concerns a military member off-base they can apprehend the individual because the UCMJ is world-wide (usually only done if they see the offender do something unbecoming - if it is "out of sight" local officials will do the apprehension). If they for instance to witness an off-base robbery they are not allowed to confront the suspects but can use their weapons to defend themselves if fired on).

2) Not officially (normally), they can carry a weapon if they have a local permit and the weapon is locally registered (but not their weapon used at work). I did know one person allowed to carry off-duty while stationed in Cyprus (he was on detached duty to a federal agency and had written authority from his commander - so there are exceptions, but none stateside).

3) No, but they can do a citizens arrest (as anyone else can), but the apprehension would be done by local authorities. Of course this changes to yes if Martial Law has been declared (hopefully never).