David C. Reed, Chief, Law Enforcement Operations Branch, United States Military Police School, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
he United States Army Civilian Police Academy, currently located at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, conducts state-of-the-art police skills training for U.S. Army and Department of Defense (DOD) civilian police officers assigned to law enforcement duties at army installations throughout the United States.
A residential, nine-week program of instruction provides the initial entry-level army civilian police course training for U.S. law enforcement and security forces. Currently the course consists of 400 academic hours of instruction, equaling more than 1,700 hours of instructor contact, including practical exercises and lab work.
The program is validated and accredited by the Training and Doctrine Command of the U.S. Army and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation.
The academy training development project was implemented after the attacks of 9/11. The DOD decided that in order to have safe and secure installations in the United States, it is necessary to hire, train, and equip a civilian police force. This force needed to be trained on specific curricula and standards.
The current academy trains students from the U.S. Army and the Defense Logistics Agency organizations at any of the eight annual nine-week classes. Other DOD and government entities that employ civilian police have expressed interest in participating in this program.
A typical police course attendee is a U.S. Army employee who must attend and successfully complete this vigorous nine weeks of instruction to continue employment with the army. Students are arranged in configurations, as is true with any police academy, in which the students live, eat, and train. Normal class size is 30–45 students and at any given time, two courses are running concurrently. A total of 360 new army civilian police officers can be trained each year at the Fort Leonard Wood Academy.
Civilian Officers as Deterrents
A testament to the rigors and value of these police officers is the results of the November 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, where two U.S. Army civilian police officers were instrumental in stopping further carnage by disabling the shooter. There have been numerous events across the U.S. Army and the DOD since then that testify to the criticality of having a professionally trained and alert civilian police and guard presence to act as deterrents. These police officers must be able to pass a physical screening and a physical fitness test prior to employment and during the conduct of the course. It is hands-on, get-in-your-face, detail-driven training, which produces well-trained, mission-ready officers.
Since 2007, the course has produced police officers found at army facilities across the United States. Their duties go beyond that of a regular civilian police officer. These are the U.S. Army’s military police force multipliers and first responders to acts of crime and terrorism. Most importantly, these officers allow the military police corps to be available for the mission they were trained to do: protect and support deployed forces in combat arenas. ■
Please cite as:
David C. Reed, "Nine-Week Army Program Provides Civilian Police Force Training," The Police Chief 77 (November 2010): 67–68,
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/CPIM1110/#/67 (insert access date).