News: MCLB Barstow hosts law enforcement conference
Story by Lance Cpl. Norman Eckles
BARSTOW, Calif. - This month, Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow was the host of the monthly Law Enforcement Meet and Greet.
During the event, the base and five other safety and emergency agencies were able to use interagency cooperation while dining at the Family Restaurant on base, April 5.
The event takes place on the first Friday of each month and has been going strong since it started in October 2012, explained Chief Darwin O’Neal with MCPD on MCLB Barstow. The monthly gathering enables the agencies to sit down with each other and share information about what is going on in their communities. This is MCLB Barstow’s second time hosting the event.
The agencies participating in the event include: the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, the California Highway Patrol, the City of Barstow Police Department, the National Training Center Fort Irwin Police Department, MCLB Barstow MCPD and a NASA representative from Goldstone on Fort Irwin.
“This event is important because it allows law enforcements, the fire departments and the military, to network with the resources each agency has and makes them available to each other,” said Capt. Patrick Rowe, captain of the Barstow CHP Office. If any of the agencies need assistance with an emergency, they can reach out to any of the other agencies and receive additional help.
As an example of the interagency relationship, O’Neal recollects when Fort Irwin assisted the MCPD with a bomb threat several months ago. Recently, Fort Irwin requested MCPD provide K-9 units for an upcoming event they are hosting.
This kind of cooperation between agencies is commonplace for emergency services in the High Desert.
During at the meeting, agencies also talked about potential dangers for service members out in town, explained MacNeil.
Some places can affect the well-being of a Marine. A Marine can walk into an illegal business thinking it’s legitimate, when in reality it’s not, said O’Neal. Learning about those issues could then be passed up to the first sergeant or battalion commander so they can warn Marines to stay away from those places.
Through the Meet and Greet, law enforcement agencies are afforded the opportunity to look at all of the jurisdictions, explained O’Neal. There are situations going on that not all agencies are aware of, until the Meet and Greet.
“We cover multiple things,” expressed MacNeil. “We have covered things like the shooting at a gas station back in October and the Christopher Dorner incident; everything is talked about.”
The monthly meetings help each agency see what’s happening overall in the area, which prevents tunnel vision. When someone is taking care of a specific jurisdiction, that agency starts to care only about their gamut and forgets about the surrounding areas, explained O’Neal. “With this event we get to see everyone’s point of view and know our surroundings.”
“I go to a lot of different events and I’m very familiar with the people here today, and you can see the conversations we have are always for a good cause,” explained Rowe.
The more often the Meet and Greet occurs, the better prepared the agencies will be for situations that may take place, concluded O’Neal.