News: Yuma Military Police Receive Federal Accreditation
Story by Lance Cpl. Travis Gershaneck
MCAS YUMA, Ariz. – On an installation packed with uniformed service members, few are more distinguishable than the military police. The glistening gold badge over the left breast pocket serves as a constant reminder that upholding the law is their primary responsibility, and the police officers of the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Provost Marshal’s Office take that job very seriously.
The military police maintain constant vigilance over MCAS Yuma at all hours of the day and night to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors.
Headquarters Marine Corps observed and evaluated PMO over the course of seventeen months through a modified course of inspections and criteria used for high-tempo municipal police forces. Their hard work and dedication paid off when PMO officially received federal accreditation April 14, 2014.
“It’s the Marine Corps’ stamp of approval on our Provost Marshal’s Office,” said Maj. Jeremy Thompson, Provost Marshal for MCAS Yuma.
In honor of the accomplishment, representative of the Deputy Commandant of Security Plans, Policies, and Operations Security Division, Lt. Col. Bryan Wood, presented a plaque of recognition to Col. Robert Kuckuk, the station commanding officer, Thursday, May 1, 2014.
“When you drill down to achieving those standards, it gets the Provost Marshal, his MPs and cops back to the fundamental things they’re supposed to be doing on a regular basis: weapons qualifications, use of force adherence, upholding regulations,” said Wood. “Those tier one standards are our bread and butter."
Thompson explained that federal accreditation began approximately two years ago as a real effort to standardize and professionalize the police force in the Marine Corps.
“The Marine Corps sought other federal organization’s advice and came up with a curriculum to help guide us through an accreditation program,” said Thompson.
In order to be eligible for accreditation, PMO had to meet or exceed the specified curriculum, which is comprised of a series of basic criteria drafted from accreditation programs of larger municipal police forces. This model requires each department to pass specific standards, from armory weapon and ammunition storage, to physical security surveys throughout the entire installation.
Recently, the implementation of the criteria throughout all military services has put the Marine Corps in a position to set the example.
Upon gaining eligibility, the Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies, and Operations Security Division Director, Raymond Geoffroy, makes the final decision in the accreditation process. Marine Corps Air Station Yuma PMO not only exceeded those requirements, but also demonstrated that their department can indeed walk the walk when it comes to force protection.