News: Military community steps up violence prevention
Story by Cpl. Charles Clark
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Several serious acts of violence aboard military installations were reported in recent years. The Marine Corps maintains a zero tolerance policy regarding this type of behavior and is currently taking measures to stop these acts before they reach the boiling point.
According to Marine Corps Order 5580.3, the Violence Prevention Program is rooted in the early recognition and reporting of behavioral warning signs, and ultimately a measured response to those warning signs before a crime occurs.
“The program is exactly what the name implies - to prevent violence,” said Col. Richard A. Anderson, Marine Corps Installations East security emergency services assistant chief of staff. “Rather than being reactive to situations, as we have done in the past, we want to be proactive and deal with the symptoms of a possible outbreak in violence before it gets to that point.”
Under the programs’ guidance, three categories of behavior were classified as moderate, high and extreme risk factors.
Moderate risk factors could include social withdrawal, extreme changes in behavior, a change in hygiene or appearance habits, history of past mental issues and strong racist or sexual behavior patterns.
High risk factors include visible anger problems and severe jealousy, expressing opinion against military operations, history of discipline problems, persistent stalking and personally created artwork of a disturbing nature.
According to the program, extreme risk factors include homicidal or suicidal ideations, physical abuse of spouse or children, interested in a foreign terrorist group or organization or even traveling overseas to attend terrorist training.
Marines are encouraged to maintain a high level of moral courage to report any observed risk behavior to their Violence Prevention Program officer or representative, chain of command, chaplain, Provost Marshall’s Office or Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
The NCIS Text a Tip program can also be used. Text “NCIS” plus your tip information to CRIMES or “274637”.
Assigned by the commander at all battalion and squadron levels, there are program officers in each battalion aboard base who have been trained. In addition, a program representative is available at each installation to facilitate the Marine Corps Order and assist anyone who has something to report, talk about or check on required training for the program.
The year-old program is still in infancy, with training for Marine Corps Installations East conducted from March 25 to May 17. Marine Corps Installations West conduct its training beginning May 20 and is scheduled to finish July 10, while overseas installations are slated to receive training from July 8 through August 23.
“Leadership is the key to violence prevention,” said Gene A. Rued, a Marine Corps Installations East Violence Prevention Program representative. “Through leadership, commanders and leaders create a culture that discourages unlawful violence and encourages increased reporting of warning signs and indicators of potential violence.”
The Violence Prevention Program officer for Headquarters and Support Battalion is Shaun Baker who can be reached at 910-451-4337 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. The program officer for HQSPTBN Security and Emergency Services is Freddie McDonald Jr. who can be reached at 910-451-1450 or emailed at email@example.com.
For more information about the Violence Prevention Program, call 910-451-7457.