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Undertaking Preventive Programs

Military police law enforcement programs support command strength, readiness, and well-being. And they help assist and protect the military community. Most MP programs are proactive. Preventing crime by suppressing the opportunity for it is at the base of all law enforcement planning. MP programs are diverse. Major programs are directed toward supporting military law enforcement needs. But a number of efforts like customs information services and wildlife conservation are equally supportive of civilian law enforcement needs. And often the liaison and interaction between MP and the civilian community that makes a program effective is, in itself, proactive for law and order.


Crime prevention is a primary goal for all Army law enforcement elements. Strong installation physical security programs and vice control programs support installation crime prevention programs. The DA crime prevention program goal is to provide a secure environment for service members and their families, government employees, and the general public. Crime prevention is a command responsibility having a continuing command emphasis.

Crime prevention employs proactive measures aimed at protecting persons and their property and the property of the federal government. Basic policies of crime prevention are presented in AR 190-31. Use of specific preventive techniques is made after a careful review of a problem and its causative factors. Concern is focused on the number and types of crimes being committed and where crimes are being committed.

Crime prevention is an ongoing process of planning, implementing measures, evaluating their effectiveness, modifying measures, and developing further information. During the planning step of the crime prevention program development, the PM must generate sufficient, accurate, and up-to-date information with which to organize a viable prevention plan. A series of priorities must be established to determine where MP assets are needed.



Providing Physical Security

Controlling Vice Activities

Prostitution and Gambling

Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Preventing Juvenile Delinquency

Diagnostic Interview

Police and School Liaisons

Juvenile Council

Controlling Traffic

Installation Traffic Control

Traffic Offenses





One of the principal means for developing information on the extent of a criminal threat is the use of a crime prevention survey. This is an examination of all physical and geographical features within and adjacent to military facilities in order to determine any conditions that may ease or encourage criminal acts that will be detrimental to the command. This thorough, complete, and continuing report includes the composition of both military and civilian populations, a review of the state of order and discipline in the command, and a study of any physical features of the military site. It becomes the principal guide for determining the personnel, equipment, and direction of the crime prevention program. Military peculiar offenses, such as disrespect and disobedience to orders, are command concerns and must be prevented by the unit commander. Installation crime prevention efforts focus on preventing the more violent crimes, such as murder, rape, and assault, by active enforcement and patrolling activities. In a mature theater of operations crime prevention program, the major effort of the PM is toward detecting organized criminal behavior that threatens the command as a whole. These areas include organized vice activities, wholesale pilferage of arriving supplies, black-market operations, currency manipulation, organized deserter bands, and narcotics activities. Such areas are a command-wide concern and require command-wide participation in their suppression and prevention.

The crime prevention plan is placed into action; orders, plans, and operational procedures are published. Education programs are implemented to alert members of the command to any criminal threat that exists. Organized task forces may be employed to aggressively move against those criminal threats considered by the commander to be the most threatening to good order and discipline within the command.

Most often when crime does occur, the Crime Prevention Branch, augmented by MP investigators, conducts a crime analysis to identify problem areas. The areas are then targeted by crime prevention and MPI personnel in a manner which makes apprehension highly possible. This permits the uniformed patrol to remain in their patrol area, deterring crime through maximum visibility.

The system may require additional personnel to be assigned to the Crime Prevention and/or MP Investigation sections based on an increased role in targeting high crime areas. However, the high visibility of uniformed patrols usually results in a decrease in crime rates.

Evaluation is made as a result of analysis and review developed through statistical data on the effectiveness of the command program. Based upon the analysis and any change of priorities by the commander, the initial program is altered to become more effective. The cycle then begins again.

The PM, as the chief law enforcement official of the command, has primary staff responsibility for crime prevention. His efforts are supported by staff members, subordinate commanders. members of governmental and law enforcement agencies within the civilian community, and other agencies. The installation crime prevention council meets to review findings of physical security and crime prevention inspections and corrective actions taken. They also review the financial impact of installation crime and preventive measures. They address crime trends and conditions conducive to crime. And they discuss the effectiveness of existing crime prevention programs. The council looks for ways to increase the usefulness of the program. The council is chaired by a member of the installation command element. The PM or security officer serves as the coordinator. The council includes delegates from the installation staff, major unit commanders, and delegates from tenant or attached units.

A crime prevention officer, appointed in writing by the installation commander, manages the installation crime prevention program (AR 190-31). MP with extensive experience in physical security or MP investigators are normally assigned as crime prevention specialists. Unit crime prevention officers (E6 or above) are designated in writing at all levels of command. Unit crime prevention officers--

  • Conduct announced or unannounced crime prevention inspections of unit areas.
  • Ensure electro-stylus etching markers are available to the military community for marking government and personal property.
  • Develop crime prevention themes for installation and local command information programs.

Crime prevention personnel support the installation council by performing crime data analysis, drafting programs for the council's consideration, inspecting the implementation of council-mandated measures, and coordinating the efforts of unit/activity crime prevention officers in implementing the installation crime prevention program. For a state-of-the-art discussion of crime analysis, crime countermeasures, and community crime prevention programs, see DA Pamphlet 190-31.


An effective physical security program supports installation crime prevention. A strong physical security program helps identify, reduce, eliminate, or neutralize conditions favorable to criminal activity. Physical security inspections and surveys are conducted as a part of the overall program. Physical security inspections and surveys reduce the opportunity, and desire, for engaging in criminal acts. Physical security inspections and surveys are made on designated mission-essential or vulnerable activities within a command. This includes reserve centers and Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) activities that a command supports. The results of physical security inspections are reported on DA Form 2806-1-R (Physical Security Inspection Report). Physical security surveys are reported on DA Form 2806-R (Physical Security Survey Report). (See AR 190-13.) Activities examined may be internal (such as cash flow procedures) or external (such as lighting intensity or door security).

Physical security inspectors are selected by the PM, security officer, or installation commander. Inspectors must hold military occupational specialty (MOS) 95B and meet the qualifications listed in AR 190-13. Civilian inspectors must meet Office of Personnel Management qualification standards. (These standards can be found in the local civilian personnel office.) Qualified physical security inspectors are issued DA Form 4261 and DA Form 4261-1 (Physical Security Inspector Identification Card).

Before conducting inspections the inspectors must know the function or mission of the area, facility, or activity being inspected. They must be familiar with the regulations and directives required for the operation of the activity. They should know of offenses or incidents that have occurred in the past. They review prior surveys or inspections conducted and who conducted them. They also note deficiencies found and if any personnel changes have occurred.

Inspectors check to see if adequate security safeguards are provided. They note practices or conditions that contribute to the commission of crimes. They look for changes or additions required. That is, they see what personnel, regulations or directives, procedures, or equipment is needed to satisfy security requirements. And they note the actions needed by the commander, PM, or other staff officers to provide required security.

After inspecting, the inspector makes a thorough analysis of findings. He or she weighs deficient measures, factors, or conditions against existing standards and requirements. The inspector balances manpower and financial costs of recommended measures against the protection provided. Then the inspector briefs the PM on the findings using maps, plots, sketches. He recommends corrective action. If necessary he makes on-site visits with the PM to clarify the recommendations.

Following the inspector's final briefing, the PM reports the findings of the survey with recommended actions to the commander. Upon receipt of the commander's decision, a written report is provided to the responsible office for action and reply. If extensive time is needed for the corrective action, target dates for completion are established and reported in the reply.

Follow-up inspections should be made of the facility, activity, or area inspected after a lapse of not more than three months. This will show if recommendations have been carried out. It will also show if major changes in mission or personnel may make further study and evaluation necessary. Specific guidance in establishing and maintaining a practical, economical, and effective physical security program is contained in AR 190-13. For activities that may require surveys and inspections, see FM 19-30, AR 195-2, and AR 190-13.


An effective vice control program helps ensure a command's strength, readiness, and well-being. Vice activities have adverse effects on the health, welfare, and morale of a command. Prostitution, gambling, narcotics, and other types of vice can lower the command's readiness or contribute to criminal incidents. MP suppression of vice helps the commander maintain discipline and order.

On post, the control of vice is a PM responsibility. Off post, the control of such activities rests in the hands of the civil authorities. But MP may assist in the prevention of offenses outside a military installation by enforcing off-limits regulations. And they can warn military personnel to avoid known trouble spots and areas.

The provisions of the Posse Comitatus Act prohibit participation by MP in raids, searches, and seizures of establishments off post conducted by civil police. However, in overseas areas where this act does not apply MP may participate in such action if requested by civilian authorities and when a military member is involved. Since SOFAs and international law will apply, the local SJA office is contacted before participating in any such activity.

Prostitution and Gambling

AR 190-24 and AR 210-10 provide that prostitution will be suppressed by all commanders in areas under Army control and among persons subject to Army jurisdiction. The regulations specify that places of prostitution will be placed off-limits to military personnel. Commanders are enjoined to cooperate with agencies engaged in activities designed to suppress prostitution affecting military personnel.

The suppression of prostitution is an established policy of the Department of the Army in its program for the welfare of personnel, the development and guidance of character, and the control of venereal disease. The policy applies to all overseas commands as well as those commands within the continental United States. It is the responsibility of all commanders to secure compliance with this policy. All practices that can in any way be interpreted as fostering or condoning prostitution will be prohibited. Violations will be handled through appropriate disciplinary actions. Identified houses of prostitution will be declared off-limits to all US military personnel. Action taken in this connection will be coordinated with proper authorities of the other services. In the United States, the civil authorities have complete control over the suppression of prostitution off the military installation. The policy of suppression is accomplished through cooperation with civilian law enforcement agencies and health organizations. Full cooperation will be given civilian and other government agencies engaged in the suppression of prostitution and the elimination of sources of venereal infection. Where local authorities fail to cooperate, the commander may appeal to higher authority to negotiate improvement of conditions. The commander may also take necessary countermeasures, such as temporarily declaring the affected area or establishments off-limits to soldiers.

The May Act, 18 USC 1384, was initially enacted by Congress in 1941 as an emergency measure to prohibit prostitution within such reasonable distances of military and/or naval establishments as the Secretaries of the Army and Navy should determine to be needed for the efficiency, health, and welfare of the Army and Navy. The act makes it unlawful within such "reasonable distance" to engage in prostitution, to aid or abet prostitution, or to procure or solicit for the purpose of prostitution. Persons or organizations not subject to the articles of the UCMJ who are guilty of violating the May Act will be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Department of the Army policy stresses control of gambling rather than suppression. But Army regulations prohibit gambling in service clubs (AR 215-1) and gambling by disbursing officers (AR 37-103). Excessive losses because of gambling may lead to commission of other crimes and offenses, such as robbery, burglary, and embezzlement. The PM is familiar with the gambling situation within his jurisdiction and adjacent areas. The PM studies its impact on offense rates and the conduct of personnel who are off duty. When appropriate, the PM recommends to the commander that consideration for off-limits action be presented to the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board. Information on dishonest gambling practices is made available to civil agencies concerned with controlling gambling.

Preventive action against gambling is implemented through appropriate command channels. Publicity relating to gambling is used to inform all personnel of the inherent dangers of gambling.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse

The introduction, sale, possession, and use of alcoholic beverages are permitted on Army installations as authorized by AR 215-2. But commanders must ensure that persons under 21 years of age are not permitted to use, possess, buy, or introduce intoxicating beverages in any form to an activity unless the laws of the state allow it. Persons under 21 years of age must not be employed in any capacity for the sale, handling, dispensing, or serving of any intoxicating beverages. Nor may intoxicating beverages be sold, used, consumed, or permitted in, on, or about the premises of any service club, crafts facility, or youth activity facility. The PM enforces the command's adherence to this regulation.

The costliness of drugs and difficulty in obtaining them can result in the user resorting to criminal acts to obtain them. Commanders and PMs at all levels curb the use or sale of narcotics and other prohibited drugs through education, detection of trafficking, and prompt apprehension and disposition of users and suppliers.

In areas where narcotics, marihuana, and other dangerous drugs are readily available to military personnel, information on the dangers of using these drugs, the aid that can be given to police authorities, and the progress made in prosecuting sellers and users of narcotics is disseminated through command, public information, and human self-development program channels. For example, specially trained personnel may speak to assembled troops on the dangers of drug use.

Public awareness is an important factor in the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse. Coordination with civilian law enforcement and Alcoholics Anonymous can help to formulate and implement drug and alcohol abuse awareness programs. These programs also can help identify on-and off-post conditions that contribute to the installation's alcohol and drug problem.

Installation commanders, with the help of the post MP, will maintain an alcohol safety action program (ASAP) and an alcohol countermeasures program patterned after the Department of Transportation Alcohol Safety Action Projects. These programs are designed to help identify alcohol and drug abusers. Rehabilitation programs require extensive planning, coordination, supervision, and an understanding of the offender to be effective. Evaluations of accident rates, driver's license suspension and revocation actions, public opinion, and feedback from counseling and medical personnel are used to enhance these programs.

The public must be aware of the alcohol and/or drug problem, the behavior of an intoxicated driver or drug user, and the impact these problems have on the community. Individual actions that may be taken by the public need to be emphasized. To enhance the MP enforcement effort against alcohol and drug abuse, the public must be educated in the--

  • Nature of the ASAP and its objective.
  • Enforcement and countermeasures employed.
  • Implied consent provision.
  • Blood alcohol content index and its applicability.
  • Legal and administrative consequences of driving while intoxicated.

The PM analyzes past and present alcohol and drug offenses. Traffic studies, as described in FM 19-25, maybe undertaken to determine factors such as voluntary compliance with speed limits, effectiveness of traffic control devices, and accident patterns. The PM then attempts to isolate areas requiring additional traffic supervision and enforcement beyond normally available resources. Once the PM identifies the factors that contribute to alcohol and/or drug problems, countermeasures are adopted and corrective actions taken.

Countermeasures will be proportionate to the resources available for the mission and to the nature of the specific problem. Some effective countermeasures include--

  • Checkpoints at installation entrances to check vehicle registrations/driver's licenses and to determine if the driver is or has been drinking.
  • Traffic patrols dedicated solely to detecting and apprehending drinking drivers.
  • Concentrated public education programs.

The PM is concerned with all aspects of these programs, but other staff agencies such as installation medical authorities, the alcohol and drug counselor, the chaplain, the SJA, the information officer, and the unit commander will have an active part in these programs as well.

The unit commander will ensure military personnel are referred to the installation alcohol and drug program for evaluation when convicted of, or subject to, official administrative action for any offense involving driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The person's past history of such offenses will determine if referral to a mandatory drug-alcohol education or rehabilitation program is required. Driving privileges will be revoked in accordance with AR 190-5 for all drunk driving convictions as well as for those individuals who refuse to submit to chemical intoxication tests.


Military sponsors are responsible for the proper conduct of their dependents. Investigation into the causes of misconduct and the collection of background data are limited to essential information. But MP may extend their investigation to include the conduct of the child's military sponsor if that conduct is dangerous or harmful to the child. Depending upon the frequency and nature of the juvenile's offenses, a number of corrective measures may be taken.

In CONUS the commander has several administrative options that may be used separately or collectively. The commander may find it sufficient to accept payment for property that was damaged, destroyed, or stolen. The juvenile may be barred from using specific post facilities in which the offense took place. Hospital, dental, and other statutory privileges can be denied only under extraordinary circumstances (10 USC 1076). The commander also may order the youth off the post and barred from reentry. The commander may take more serious administrative measures for youths who reside on post by terminating the sponsor's government quarters. When OCONUS the commander may reduce or suspend the juvenile's privileges, officially reprimand the sponsor, or return the sponsor and dependents to the United States.

In CONUS the commander's judicial options include considering the circumstances of the crime, jurisdiction, and prior offenses of the juvenile. Close liaison must be established between the PM, SJA, and civil authorities.

State and local juvenile courts are the desired agencies for handling minor juvenile cases as prescribed by 18 USC 5032. If an offense committed by a juvenile is a state crime and not committed in an area of exclusive federal legislative jurisdiction, local police and courts may assume jurisdiction.

If a juvenile offense is committed on a post where there is concurrent jurisdiction and MP investigation reveals that a dependent juvenile has committed a state crime, final disposition could include administrative action or trial by the appropriate civilian court or both. Many state statutes do provide for appeal of an adjudication of delinquency. If a state provides for an appeal, the juvenile court will provide the PM's juvenile section this information and further guidance.

Damage to federal property is a federal crime. When juveniles commit serious federal offenses, the appropriate coordinating agencies may include the FBI, US Marshals, and the US Attorney's Office. The ability to prosecute juveniles in federal district court is limited by 18 USC 403. According to the Supreme Court of the United States, a juvenile has no constitutional right to appeal. When the offense takes place OCONUS the juvenile may be prosecuted in HN courts if the case is serious and upon the advice of the SJA.

Diagnostic Interview

When an offense has occurred that involves a juvenile as a suspect, a juvenile officer or noncommissioned officer (NCO) conducts a diagnostic interview as soon as possible after the offense is committed. The purpose of the interview is to seek an answer as to why the offense occurred, and to gather information to determine what disposition would be in the best interests of the youth, the family, and the military community. Investigation into the causes of the misconduct and the collection of background data are limited to essential information. But MP may investigate the conduct of the child's military sponsors if that conduct is dangerous or harmful to the child.

The diagnostic interview is conducted with the juvenile, with one or both parents present. The intent is to deal with the problem in a family context if possible, rather than as the youth's problem alone. The interview may be conducted in private if parents are uncooperative, domineering, or if their presence has an adverse effect upon the juvenile. While commanders have every right to monitor the situation and to receive reports of diagnostic interviews, they are not allowed to actively participate in counseling sessions.

During the interview the juvenile officer attempts to find out if the juvenile has a previous history of delinquency and behavior problems and, if the youth was a runaway, where he or she went and what happened. The juvenile officer attempts to find out the youngster's feelings about the family and behavior at home as well as the parents' feelings about the youth and their perception of the current problem. The juvenile officer also attempts to find out what actions, if any, the parents and the juvenile are taking to solve the behavior problems. Guidance on investigating juvenile delinquency and conducting juvenile interviews and interrogations is found in FM 19-20.

Based on the interview, the juvenile officer may counsel the juvenile and the family if a satisfactory solution appears to have been agreed upon. The youth may be referred to the school guidance counselor, a chaplain, or other social service personnel if the youth and family express a desire to seek professional help for their family problems. Or the youth may be referred to the mental hygiene clinic, an Army social worker, or other appropriate agency if it appears that deeply rooted problems are impairing the youth's normal functioning in the family or community. The juvenile officer may recommend to the PM that administrative action be taken against the youth. Normally, this is reserved for repeat offenders. Or the juvenile officer may recommend that the juvenile be referred to the appropriate civil juvenile court system.

MP overseas often must contend with both juvenile dependents of the United States military and civilian personnel and nondependent juvenile citizens of the host nation. This calls for great discretion and tact. Delinquent behavior off the installation may affect relations with the host nation. In incidents occurring on the installation, MP become involved in the investigation on referral of the incident to the proper social service activity for disposition. Minor incidents may be disposed of without formal action. The parents are counseled and the youth reprimanded, with a warning as to the consequences of future delinquency. More serious incidents involving juvenile dependents which are detrimental to the command may result in administrative action being taken.

Police and School Liaisons

Police and school liaison programs include MP visiting installation schools to create ongoing communication between the PM, the MP, the school faculty, and the student body.

The PM can establish good relations with local school officials by--

  • Becoming acquainted with school officials on both a formal and informal basis.
  • Reviewing the school delinquency prevention program and tactfully recommending improvements and offering other assistance.
  • Working with the school guidance counselor or other school staff to determine disciplinary problems and other relevant data.
  • Offering to speak and show films to the students on bicycle safety, drug and alcohol information, and other programs that will aid in creating a feeling of trust and friendship.
  • Making MP assets available for school functions or affairs, such as open house displays, career days, athletic programs, and tours of military facilities.

Meetings between parents and the MP and school staff can do much to educate the parents to the causes of delinquency. The development of a close working relationship with area schools will increase the effectiveness of any plan for delinquency prevention and control. The active assistance of school officials is necessary if plans for the welfare of the students are to be successful.

In a school environment the MP may serve as a resource person for school counselors. Depending on local policy, the MP may even become a part of a carefully structured school counseling and referral team. The MP may present safety and other lectures and advise school authorities on means of controlling theft and vandalism. The MP is not used to enforce school regulations, maintain order within classrooms, or become directly involved in ordinary school behavioral problems.

Juvenile Council

The juvenile council maintains an ongoing liaison with federal, state, and local juvenile systems and planning agencies. The juvenile council seeks to coordinate the juvenile welfare services of all installation agencies. It makes the system responsive to the child's needs by eliminating jurisdictional disputes and misconceptions. The juvenile council reduces duplication of juvenile services and provides for efficient delivery of such services through systemwide planning. Planning must be flexible and responsive to community needs.

Members of the council review juvenile cases, dispositions, and follow-up treatment to ensure proper handling. The council is also responsible for the formulation and review of post delinquency programs. Representation on the council by the installation commander will allow juvenile problems and trends to be closely monitored and can generate interest within the command for juvenile programs.


MP control traffic to enable the safe movement of personnel and supplies. On the battlefield, control of traffic is a part of the main MP mission of BCC. In combat MP use many of the same basic measures for BCC that in a peacetime environment are used to accomplish their law and order mission. Traffic control is accomplished as main supply route regulation enforcement. The traffic control measures used for BCC include measures of--

  • Operating traffic control posts.
  • Operating mobile patrols.
  • Emplacing temporary route signs.

Other, more specialized, measures include operating--

  • Holding areas.
  • Roadblocks.
  • Checkpoints.
  • Defiles.
  • Straggler control posts.
  • Straggler collecting points.

See FM 19-4 for detailed discussion of traffic control as part of BCC.

In a peacetime environment on military installations, in addition to the measures used routinely to control circulation on the battlefield, MP enforce installation traffic laws. They investigate motor vehicle traffic accidents within their jurisdiction. They assist civilian agencies investigating traffic accidents involving military personnel or military vehicles. As part of their traffic control measures, MP may coordinate convoy movements with civil police authorities or provide convoy escort. They may also conduct vehicle registration. They may supervise the installation's vehicle impoundment lot. And to help ensure movement of traffic, MP often employ speed and intoxication detection equipment to screen for unsafe drivers.

MP conduct traffic control studies to obtain information on specific traffic problems and usage patterns unique to an installation. Traffic control studies (see FM 19-25) provide information on types of accidents that occur most frequently, the time of day when accidents are most frequent, the place where accidents are most likely to occur, and driving offenses and other factors that tend to cause accidents. ADP equipment used for storage, retrieval, interpretation, and validation of traffic control information has greatly improved the usability of traffic data. These data, once collected and analyzed, can be used to prevent traffic accidents. The PM can use these studies to determine present and future needs concerning traffic control and associated traffic programs.

The PM can also use these studies to analyze past and present alcohol and drug offenses. The PM then attempts to isolate areas requiring additional traffic supervision and enforcement beyond normally available resources. Once the PM identifies the factors that contribute to alcohol and/or drug problems, countermeasures are adopted and corrective actions taken.

Results of traffic studies provide MP with methods to prevent accidents. One method is to distribute MP effectively during the hours and days when, and at points where, congestion is greatest or where accidents are most likely to occur. MP must give particular attention to the types of violations that are causing accidents. MP also evaluate effectiveness of traffic enforcement measures and emphasize driver training and pedestrian education. MP recommend more effective uses for traffic control devices and safeguards. They also coordinate traffic flow with facilities engineers. They recommend engineering improvements to eliminate hazards that cause frequent traffic accidents.

Installation Traffic Control

The basis for a well-planned and organized traffic control plan is a traffic enforcement program and educational and safety programs. MP traffic control plans provide for the safe and efficient movement of military and civilian vehicles. These plans are coordinated with headquarters, staff offices, and civil authorities before implementation. Plans will include accident investigation and prevention and the conduct of traffic control studies and surveys. When developing plans, movement of military convoys, emergency medical vehicles, and fire trucks will take precedence over all other vehicular traffic.

MP are responsible for implementing the installation traffic control plan. These responsibilities include--

  • Enforcing all traffic laws, regulations, and orders.
  • Reporting and investigating traffic accidents.
  • Operating traffic control posts on the installation.
  • Reporting traffic conditions.
  • Performing escort and convoy escort duties.
  • Recommending type and location of traffic control devices.
  • Advising facility engineer of traffic signs and control devices that need repairing or replacing.

Whenever possible, traffic signs and devices are used to indicate routes and dangerous points and to direct or control traffic. Unmanned traffic control equipment aids in providing maximum control using a minimal number of MP assets. MP post temporary signs and route markings. Luminous paint or other appropriate material may be used for night illumination consistent with safety or blackout regulations. Information concerning signs can be found in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

The making and posting of permanent signs and devices is a facility engineer function. MP on patrol report to the facility engineer the location of traffic control equipment needing repair. MP report to the PM control points requiring signs.

Speed-measuring devices are used to conduct speed studies and increase compliance with traffic laws. When planning to use speed-measuring devices, the device or method best suited for the situation must be considered. These considerations are--

  • Cost.
  • Local recognition by judicial authorities.
  • Training required for persons to use devices.
  • Maintenance requirements.
  • Mission and environment of unit employing the devices.

Speed-measuring devices or methods used by the MP are--

  • Stopwatches.
  • Radar.
  • Aircraft.
  • Pace method.

See FM 19-25 for more information on speed-measuring devices and methods.

Traffic Offenses

MP ensure military vehicles are operated only by authorized military or civilian personnel. MP efforts are directed toward serious traffic offenses. Serious offenses include speeding, reckless driving, drunken driving, overloading, and transporting civilians without authority. The driver or the senior passenger, or both, if charged with a serious offense, may be apprehended and the vehicle impounded. Minor offenses not referable to the magistrate system may be referred to the unit commander using DD Form 1408 (Armed Forces Traffic Ticket) or DA Form 3975. All other traffic offenses will be handled using DD Form 1805.

If the installation commander tasks the PM to have vehicles registered on post, then DA Form 3626 (Vehicle Registration/Driver Record) must be filled out and maintained.

DA Form 3626 is prepared on each registrant of a car. A separate form is prepared on persons who also drive the car and are involved in a chargeable traffic offense or receive a moving traffic violation. It is made out in one copy. If the form indicates suspension or revocation of the registrant's driving privileges or shows accumulation of points, the form is to be mailed to the PM of the gaining command upon permanent change of station (PCS) of the soldier concerned.

The forms of military personnel who are being separated from the service and civilian personnel who terminate employment will be destroyed. Information concerning decals and control procedures is outlined in AR 190-5.

DD Form 1805 is used by law enforcement agencies in conjunction with the US Magistrate System to cite individuals with minor offenses. PMs must coordinate with the US magistrate of his area for--

  • A list of minor offenses for which mail-in procedures are authorized.
  • The amount of the fine for each specific offense.
  • A list of minor offenses which require a mandatory appearance of the violator before the magistrate.

Two copies are returned to the PM office for transmittal to US District Court. A copy is returned to the PM office for filing. And a copy is issued to the violator or placed on the violator's vehicle. All violation notices require:

  • Social security number of issuing MP.

  • Date of notice.

  • Description of violation, including place and time if applicable.

  • Violation code number and issuing location code number.

DD Form 1408 is used for reporting minor traffic offenses. A copy of the form is forwarded through command channels. DD Form 1408 is administratively processed in accordance with AR 190-5. The form does not require any supporting forms or letters of transmittal. A copy is filed in the office of the PM. A copy is given to the violator. Or in the case of an unattended vehicle violation, this copy will be placed under the windshield wiper of the vehicle or otherwise conspicuously affixed to the vehicle. DD Form 1408 may also be used as a warning notice. Void traffic tickets will be marked VOID in large letters and all copies turned in to the desk sergeant.

DD Form 1920 (Alcoholic Influence Report) is used to record observations of an individual apprehended for an offense in which alcoholic influence, such as drunken driving, is a factor. This form is made out in sufficient copies to satisfy local requirements. At least one copy will be attached to each copy of the DA Form 3975.

Detecting an intoxicated driver is both the most difficult task in the enforcement effort and the most important. If MP fail to detect violations, other countermeasure programs will also fail. Several methods may be used to deter violators. An effective installation intoxicated driving prevention program may include the use of systematic gate inspections, a cone maze, or regular, trained patrols.

Systematic gate inspections may be used to deter violators. These inspections may be conducted to ensure security, military fitness, or good order and discipline. Gate inspections must be coordinated with the local SJA and authorized by the installation commander. Gate inspections must be documented, and signs must be displayed to warn personnel that they are liable to search upon entry, exit, or while on the installation. Incoming personnel who object to being inspected are not searched over their objections. In this case they can be denied the right of entry. Personnel exiting the installation cannot refuse inspection. MP selected to participate in the inspection are thoroughly briefed. MP maintain a log recording all significant events.

The cone maze is setup in an S shape and also is an effective detection aid. Normally, the unimpaired driver will see the cones at a reasonable distance, perceive the problem, slow down, and carefully adjust to the challenge. An impaired driver, on the other hand, because of inadequate perception, unusually fast vehicle speed, or the inability to make multiple turning movements within the lane of travel, will knock down or run over cones.

The MP observes visual clues when the suspect is operating a vehicle. An effective detection program begins with the recognition that those who drive under the influence have certain behavior patterns that can be identified.

The typical contact involves three separate and distinct phases. It should be emphasized that MP will probably not go through all three phases with every suspected violator. Probable cause must be established to apprehend. Many times this is readily apparent by phase two.

In phase one the MP observes the vehicle in motion to note any initial clues of a possible violation. The major decision is to determine if there is sufficient cause to stop the vehicle. The MP observes the manner in which the suspect responds to the signal to stop and notes any additional evidence of a violation. The MP looks for clues such as driver--

  • Attempting to elude the stop.
  • Stoping vehicle in roadway where shoulder is available.
  • Useing the wrong turn signal.
  • Obstructs other traffic.

Once the vehicle is stopped, phase two begins. In phase two the MP observes the driver during initial contact. The major decision is to determine if the suspect should exit the vehicle for field sobriety testing. The MP observes the driver exit the vehicle and notes any additional evidence of impairment. The MP looks for more obvious clues such as the driver--

  • Fumbling through his billfold.

  • Leaning on the automobile for balance.

  • Slurring his speech.

  • Stumbling.

  • Seeming to lack orientation.

  • Having a flushed face.

  • Having bloodshot eyes.

If the MP is still undecided at this point, phase three begins. In phase three the MP administers a preliminary breath test and formal psychophysical field sobriety tests consistent with state law to evaluate the extent of the suspect's impairment. The MP must take adequate traffic control measures during the testing phase to ensure the suspect's safety at all times. The major decision is to determine if the driver is to be apprehended. Tests will help determine probable cause. Once the decision to apprehend has been made, the successful prosecution depends upon the MP's ability to organize and present all relevant information to the court. The MP's observations are critical.

Blood withdrawal is the most accurate method of determining different levels of alcohol and/or drug intoxication in the blood. This procedure is done by authorized medical personnel. However, breath analysis has been accepted as a substitute for blood withdrawal for alcohol testing. Evidential blood alcohol testing equipment is critical to the actual evaluation and subsequent prosecution of violators. The use of the portable breath tester may provide sufficient evidence for probable cause. Each installation is authorized one chemical breath-testing device by Common Table of Allowances (CTA) 50-909. Chemical breath analysts are selected and trained to use the device. The device provides rapid, reliable, and judicially acceptable test results. For judicial purposes, the device used must be one that is authorized for use in the host state. Chemical breath-testing devices and the percentage levels of alcohol impairment are outlined in AR 190-5.

If the chemical breath-testing device is not available or is not legally usable in the area, then the formal psychophysical field sobriety tests are used. The one-leg stand, the walk and turn, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (HGNT) have been developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, using many years of experience throughout the country, and have been refined by scientific research to make them as accurate and discriminating as possible. When properly administered and interpreted, these tests are highly reliable tools used to evaluate a suspect's degree of alcohol impairment. But the HGNT is a difficult and complex test to train. This test can only be used if the MP has been trained and certified competent by a qualified trainer. PMs can send MP to the Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Law Enforcement/Instructor Training Course at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, to receive training in HGNT procedures. MP who are trained can then train unit members.

The MP must use his or her judgment to determine which test is used. The one-leg stand test and the walk and turn test are divided attention tests because they require the suspect to divide his attention between mental tasks and physical tasks. Both tests require the suspect to balance and listen. The MP must demonstrate the one-leg stand and the walk and turn test before requiring the suspect to perform the test.

The one-leg stand test requires the suspect to balance while counting out loud. The walk and turn test requires the suspect to--

  • Comprehend verbal instructions.
  • Process information.
  • Recall memory.

While administering this test, the MP determines if the driver--

  • Keeps his balance while listening to the instructor.
  • Starts before instructions are finished.
  • Stops to steady himself while walking.
  • Touches heel-to-toe.
  • Steps off the line.
  • Uses arms to balance.
  • Loses balance while turning.
  • Takes the incorrect number of steps or just cannot do the test.


MP pursue an aggressive absentee/deserter program that is preventive as well as reactive. The reduction of absenteeism is primarily within the sphere of command leadership. But the PM as advisor to the commander emphasizes the preventive measures available to commanders to reduce absenteeism in the Army. He also does this through his participation as a member of the Army Community Service Council, the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board, and other related activities in accordance with AR 190-9. Absentee/deserter investigations are undertaken to provide the command a broad-reaching ability to return absentees/deserters to military control. And because good coordination and communication between military and civilian law enforcement agencies is basic to the absentee/deserter program, the program also serves to enhance MP/civilian police relationships.


The Wildlife Law Enforcement Program operates to enforce laws pertaining to water pollution, litter, forestry, recreational facilities, and boating. The intent is also to protect government property such as range buildings, construction or range equipment, and telephone and power lines. Measures used to accomplish the program range from check stations at roadblocks and checkpoints to publicity and administrative measures like information points.

The Wildlife Law Enforcement Program ensures control of predators and domestic animals on the installation. It ensures that the hunting and fishing seasons are monitored as determined by the installation commander and state and federal laws. The program also ensures the enforcement of environmental and safety regulations. It ensures that training on boating and hunting safety includes local, state, and federal laws pertinent to the local area. Coordination is effected between the DEH, the installation recreation activity, the safety office, and the game warden on camping, boating and hunting safety. The program ensures that help and information are provided to persons using government recreation facilities.


MP customs units furnish a wide variety of customs information to entire commands as well as units and individuals. MP customs personnel often present briefings on customs information to units and other groups. The units provide desk sergeants of MP stations basic customs information for answering routine questions from the military community. The MP customs units themselves can be contacted for detailed and technical information. General information, such as new or changed requirements, privileges, procedures, and so forth, are publicized through newspapers, command information publications, armed forces radio, and similar news media. General information may be prepared in the form of news releases. Radio and television talks and interviews may be presented. Brief and concise fact sheets can be developed, and display posters may be produced and distributed on items of current or continuing customs interest.

Specific information will be sought, particularly by individuals, on such matters as sales or transfers of personal property, the import or export of certain items, weapons and vehicle registration requirements, border crossings, and others. Specific information may be furnished by maintaining and publicizing walk-in and telephonic services to which all members of US forces have ready access. An important part of the customs information service is the ready availability of all blank forms required for customs actions. Instructions for completion of the blank forms should also be made available. Display boards with completed samples may be maintained at walk-in service locations.

The walk-in station may also display--

  • Customs travel information for the host and neighboring countries.
  • A list of restricted trademark items.
  • US rates of duty for various imports.
  • State laws pertaining to importation of alcoholic beverages.
  • The addresses and locations of host nation offices concerned with customs, tax, and registration matters.

Personnel assigned to provide customs information must be experienced and, as a minimum, familiar with the contents of--

In addition MP customs personnel must be familiar with applicable Army and command regulations that pertain to the operation of sales facilities. Weapons and other tax-free items are often sold at rod and gun clubs in host countries. MP must make every effort to monitor these operations frequently. And MP ensure that managers and sales personnel are thoroughly informed of host country and US customs requirements. Particular emphasis is given to transfer limitations, firearms registration, resale, importation requirements into CONUS, and provision of accurate information to customers.

MP render customs assistance to sales facilities by--

  • Briefing managers and sales personnel.
  • Monitoring facilities frequently.
  • Providing managerial personnel with pertinent customs information and ensuring that each facility has regulations on file, to include weapons regulations when applicable.
  • Providing a customs briefing at the annual rod and gun club convention, if one is held, or at any other meeting of the membership.

To ensure that sales personnel and members have a basic knowledge of pertinent customs regulations, detachment commanders, field officers, and NCOICs coordinate with each local sales store manager and arrange formal or informal customs classes. They also maintain good rapport with managerial personnel and assist them in developing a customs enforcement program.

Public events conducted by US forces in overseas locations, such as open houses, Fourth of July celebrations, youth carnivals, and so forth, to which nonmembers of the forces may be invited or admitted, may involve the transfer or sale of US forces tax-free items, particularly food and beverages, to nonmembers. Such transfer or sale often requires prior approval of the host country customs and/or tax authorities. This approval will probably specify limits to the amounts which may be so transferred or sold, as well as require that they be consumed on the premises. Items such as tobacco products on which taxes are collected at the time of the sale are not normally included in such approval. MP customs personnel can furnish assistance in an advisory capacity to persons planning such events and can assist them in obtaining any required approval. Consultation with the local SJA office will normally be required since a legal interpretation of treaties and local statutes is often involved.

DOD Regulation 5030.49-R provides for US military enforcement of US customs laws, postal regulations, and regulations of the US Department of Agriculture (AR 40-12) with respect to plant products, animals, and birds. The Department of the Army serves as the executive agent for the DOD Military Customs Inspection Program.


MP may be called upon to assist in disaster relief operations. The preservation of law and order following the development of disaster conditions can be a major problem. MP should report any indications of civil disturbances so that measures can be taken to prevent major incidents. MP may assist in the prevention of looting; protection of property, especially critical facilities; prevention of panic; and enforcement of emergency restrictions. They may also assist in traffic and circulation control, and the evacuation, and detention of civilians. Additionally, MP teams may be used to provide guidance to other military units performing law and order functions.

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