‘CAPIT’ trains law enforcers about child abuse

| October 4, 2013 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Tara Stanish (standing), MPI supervisor, 39th MP Det., 728th MP Bn., 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC, looks on as Spc. Amber Mora, MP, 552nd MP Co., 728th MP Bn., 8th MP Bde., takes an inside establishing photograph of a mock crime scene during a practical exercise portion of the Child Abuse Prevention Investigative Techniques Course, Sept. 25. (Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Richard Sherba, 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Staff Sgt. Tara Stanish (standing), MPI supervisor, 39th MP Det., 728th MP Bn., 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC, looks on as Spc. Amber Mora, MP, 552nd MP Co., 728th MP Bn., 8th MP Bde., takes an inside establishing photograph of a mock crime scene during a practical exercise portion of the Child Abuse Prevention Investigative Techniques Course, Sept. 25. (Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Richard Sherba, 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Richard Sherba
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — A mobile training team from the U.S. Army Military Police School, located at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., traveled to Hawaii to teach a Child Abuse Prevention Investigative Techniques (CAPIT) Course, here, Sept. 18-27.

“The CAPIT Course is a core class that CID (the criminal investigation department) special agents need to have in order to perform their duties as a special agent. The course is important because it provides the techniques that agents need to look for in order to process a crime scene in which a child may have been a victim,” said Sgt. 1st Class Marlene Charles, schools noncommissioned officer, 19th Military Police Battalion (CID).

Spc. David Boone, MP, 552nd MP Co., 728th MP Bn., 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC, writes down notes while investing a mock crime scene, Sept. 25. (Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Richard Sherba, 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Spc. David Boone, MP, 552nd MP Co., 728th MP Bn., 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC, writes down notes while investing a mock crime scene, Sept. 25. (Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Richard Sherba, 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

“It’s difficult for special agents to leave and travel to a school due to the cases that they’re currently working and due to the courts-martial appearances that they need to attend,” Charles added. “It makes it hard for them to go to Fort Leonard Wood, so we (19th MP Bn. (CID)) brought the course to them.”

As important as the class is for CID special agents, it’s equally as important for all law enforcement personnel to have. The 19th MP Bn. (CID) made the course available to other law enforcement agencies and military units, creating a very diverse classroom climate.

Attendees of the eight-day course were made up of Soldiers, Marines and local law enforcement personnel representing MPs, MP investigators (MPIs), CID agents and the Honolulu Police Department.

Don Hayden, course manager for CAPIT, U.S. Army MP School, spoke about the course and the importance of having a diverse group of students, not just investigators.

“If an MP goes on a call out to a house, they may arrive on scene and see a dirty house — not a messy house caused by children’s toys and play things, but a dirty, trashy house. There may not be a crime there, but there is definitely something going on,” said Hayden. “We emphasize to our road MPs that when you see something like this, you need to report that, because those are indicators of potential future neglect or physical abuse-type cases.”

Staff Sgt. Tara Stanish, MPI supervisor at area operations in Fort Shafter for 39th MP Detachment, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, spoke about her opportunity to attend the CAPIT Course.

“The course helped with being able to identify child abuse, which can be a lot more difficult than you would think. It also helped us learn how to talk to children and to take their interviews,” Stanish said. “You want to be real gentle with their psyche, because you don’t want to unintentionally harm the child anymore than they have been harmed.”

Stanish continued, “It’s fantastic that they made the class available to so many, not just CID or MPIs, but also the road MPs who don’t get the chance to go to classes like this that often. It’s really important, because the first responders are our road MPs.

“It’s important for them to be able to identify child abuse, because they’re the ones that take the initial reports.” Stanish explained. “It’s been an awesome opportunity for us all. It helped bridge the gap (between different agencies and units), and it helped us form relationships that make the working environment much better.

“Our instructors were phenomenal; you don’t get much better than them,” she added.

The mobile training team may only have been in Hawaii for a short while, but its impact on local law enforcement, Soldiers and Marines will be an everlasting one felt not only within the community, but throughout their students’ careers.

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Category: Community, Training

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