Story and Photos by
Pfc. Marcus Fichtl
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
To also show the military’s commitment to making Oahu safe, four military police from the 728th Military Police Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, accepted invitations from HPD to participate in a refresher course at the Ke Kula Makai, HPD’s training academy, here, Oct. 18-21.
“Unlike many states, here in Hawaii the military is part of the population, part of our economy, our way of life — you guys are local — and we have to work together,” said Police Capt. Gordon Shiraishi, executive officer, Training Command, HPD.
All police officers on Oahu take the refresher course every year to hone their skills, which includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid, tactical police driving and lifestyle skills such as nutrition, physical fitness and psychology.
“We wanted to show the military what we do, and they could draw their own parallels to what they do in their own garrison environment,” said Police Maj. Robert Green, commander, Training Command, HPD.
The MP skills and missions in a garrison environment have become more important as deployments slow down due to the drawndown of force in Iraq. MPs need refresher training for the full spectrum of missions they will undertake on a daily basis while in garrison.
“Law enforcement is a very perishable skill, (and) being gone for 12 months can cause you to lose that skill,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Marcy, law and order cell, 728th MP Bn., 8th MP Bde. “Given the operation tempo with (overseas contingency operations), we’ve been gone a lot. The (Honolulu police officers) stay here; this is their sole mission.”
While the value of training was greatly appreciated by both sides, the cooperation and spirit of competition between the forces shone through. Competition particularly showed during physical fitness training, as HPD had integrated a functional, real-life physical agility test, a timed event, designed around apprehending a suspect.
The physical test was divided into two distinct parts: The first involved an obstacle course testing conditioning, and the second tested strength, with the idea that police officers must be able to not only chase down a suspect, but also have the strength to apprehend the person.
According to fitness instructors and Green, the camaraderie and competition formed the first three days of cooperative training led to some of the highest participation in the physical agility test than ever before.
Future cooperation between the police forces looks promising.
“The training put faces with names,” Roth said. “I would never have known who Maj. Green or the academy instructors (were), and now I think that, if we have questions (like) ‘how do we train (for) this,’ I know people who I can ask.”
“The (HPD) staff is a proficient, professional and competent. They treat everyone with dignity, with respect, and the quality of the training is absolutely great,” Marcy said.
“We are the safest city in America; go out and enjoy,” said Green. “And hopefully, the MPs can go tell their families all the great things about working and living in the community here.”