Military police

Slovak military police

Military police (MP) are law enforcement agencies connected with, or part of, the military of a state.

In different countries it may refer to:

  • A section of the military responsible for policing the areas of responsibility of the armed forces (referred to as provosts) against all criminal activity by military or civilian personnel
  • A section of the military responsible for policing in both the armed forces and in the civilian population (most gendarmeries, such as the French Gendarmerie)
  • A section of the military solely responsible for policing the civilian population (such as the Romanian Gendarmerie or the Chilean Carabineros)
  • The preventive police forces of each Brazilian state (Polícia Militar), responsible for policing the civilian population, which become auxiliary forces of the Brazilian Army in time of war

The status of military police is usually prominently displayed on the helmet and/or on an armband, brassard, or arm or shoulder flash. In the Second World War, the military police of the German Army still used a metal gorget as an emblem.

Naval police members are sometimes called "masters-at-arms" and shore patrol.

Americas

Brazil

"Military police" is a law enforcement agency which follows the Brazilian military rules, responsible for Preventive police of the civilian population. Each state has its own Military Police department similar to a Gendarmerie.

Traditional Provost duties are held by different corps within each branch of the Brazilian Armed Forces: Army Police (Portuguese: Polícia do Exército, PE) for the Army, Navy Police (Portuguese: Polícia da Marinha) for the Navy, and Air Force Police (Portuguese: Polícia da Aeronáutica, PA) for the Air Force.

Canada

Canadian Forces Military Police Domestic Operational Patrol Uniform

The Canadian Forces Military Police (CF MP) contribute to the effectiveness and readiness of the Canadian Forces (CF) and the Department of National Defence (DND) through the provision of professional police, security and operational support services worldwide.[1]

CFMP are classified as Peace Officers in the Criminal Code,[2] which gives them the same powers as civilian law enforcement personnel to enforce Acts of Parliament on or in relation to DND property or assets anywhere in the world. They have the power to arrest anyone who is subject to the Code of Service Discipline (CSD), regardless of position or rank under the National Defence Act (NDA). MP have the power to arrest and charge non-CSD bound civilians only in cases where a crime is committed on or in relation to DND property or assets, or at the request of the Minister of Public Safety, Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada or Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Although MP jurisdiction is only on DND property across Canada and throughout the world, any civilian accessing these areas falls under MP jurisdiction and are dealt with in the same manner as any civilian policing agency. If a crime is committed on or in relation to DND property or assets, MP have the power to arrest and charge the offender, military or civilian, under the Criminal Code. It is important to note though that the purpose of the CFMP is not to replace the job of a civilian police officer, but rather to support the Canadian Forces through security and policing services.[3][4] MP also have the power to enforce the Provincial Highway Traffic Acts on all military bases in Canada pursuant to the Government Property Traffic Regulations (GPTR).

Colombia

Military Police of Colombia during a practice event in Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca.

In Colombia, MPs (Policia Militar in Spanish) are very common. They can be seen guarding closed roads, museums, embassies, government buildings and airports. In the National Army of Colombia they are assigned to the 37 Military Police Battalions, wearing green uniforms with the military police helmet. A Naval Police battalion is in service in the Colombian Marine Infantry. MP units also provide military bands and drum and bugle corps for ceremonial events.

United States

Each branch of the Armed Forces of the United States maintains its own police force. The U.S. Coast Guard, which in itself is a law enforcement agency, uses a mixture of enlisted rates and ranks qualified as law enforcement officers to patrol, investigate crimes, and enforce laws and regulations on large bases and training centers through the United States Coast Guard Police. The Coast Guard also uses the Coast Guard Investigative Service, a mixture of civilian, enlisted, reservists, and officers who are qualified and duly sworn federal law enforcement officers separate from the normal Coast Guard chain of command. CGIS primarily investigates and charges those in its own population with serious crimes, such as rape, assault or forgery, that fall under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The following is a list of military police forces:

[5][6]

  • Masters-at-Arms or MAs are enlisted Sailors of the U.S. Navy, designated as Naval Security Force (NSF), primarily responsible for law enforcement and force protection. NSF personnel are led by Naval commissioned officers from the Limited Duty Officer (LDO) and Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) communities, who are also designated as NSF. Additionally, a host installation's Security Force (both overseas and in the Continental United States) are augmented by Sailors on Temporary Assignment of Duty (TEMADD) from their parent units, as part of the Auxiliary Security Force (ASF). Shore Patrol personnel are Sailors from U.S. naval vessels visiting foreign ports (and some domestic ports) assigned to the Shore Patrol Party or Beach Guard, responsible for the good order and discipline of Sailors from the visiting ship(s) on liberty. Sailors assigned to the Shore Patrol Party or Beach Guard Detachment do not include Sailors assigned to the ship's Security Force, both performing different duties while visiting that country, because of the Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) and/or Rules of Engagement (ROE). Prior to the 1970s, Master-at-Arms and Shore Patrol were used synonymously to refer to Sailors assigned to perform law enforcement and Shore Patrol duties.[7]
  • Air Force Security Forces (formerly known as Military Police, Air Police and Security Police)—United States Air Force

Each service also maintains uniformed civilian police departments. They are referred to as Department of Defense Police (DoD Police). These police fall under each directorate they work for within the United States Department of Defense, for example: DoD Army or DoD Navy Police. The Department of the Air Force Police operate under the Air Provost Marshal. The police officers' duties are similar to those of local civilian police officers. They enforce the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), federal and state laws, and the regulations of their particular installation.

Felony level criminal investigations in the United States Armed Forces are carried out by separate agencies:

The Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) is a civilian agency that answers directly to the DOD as well as the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA).

The United States Constabulary was a gendarmerie force used to secure and patrol the American Zone of West Germany immediately after World War II.

Combat roles of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps Military Police

MP's in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, in addition to their roles as enforcers of law and order on military installations, fulfill a number of combat roles as well. Military Police in Afghanistan and Iraq have been widely employed for such duties as convoy security, mounted and dismounted patrols, maritime expeditionary warfare, Military Working Dog operations, security details for senior officers, and detainee handling.[6] Army MPs, Navy MAs, Navy Sailors who possess the Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) Code 2008 and 9575, Navy Sailors who have completed the Individual Augmentee (IA) training for Detention Operations,[8] and Air Force Security Forces have been widely used as prison guards in detainee facilities, whereas Marine Corps MPs focus on securing and processing detainees before passing them on to Army holding facilities.[9][10][11]

A US Army MP inspects a Soviet AK-47 recovered in Vietnam, 1968.

Limitation of authority and jurisdiction

Since U.S. military police soldiers are members of the armed forces, they are prohibited from exercising domestic law enforcement powers under the Posse Comitatus Act, a federal law passed in 1878. MPs may enforce certain limited powers, such as traffic stops, on access roads and other federal property not necessarily within the boundaries of their military base or installation. When combined, the Posse Comitatus Act and Insurrection Act place significant limits on presidential power to use the military in a law enforcement capacity.

The only military forces exempt from the act are the United States Coast Guard, as its mission includes maritime law enforcement duties; and Army and Air National Guard units while under state authority. Army and Air National Guard troops are not exempt from Posse Comitatus while they are serving under federal Title 10 orders.

Other Languages
العربية: شرطة عسكرية
azərbaycanca: Hərbi polis
български: Военна полиция
français: Police militaire
한국어: 헌병
hrvatski: Vojna policija
Bahasa Indonesia: Polisi militer
lietuvių: Karo policija
Bahasa Melayu: Polis tentera
Nederlands: Militaire politie
日本語: 憲兵
norsk nynorsk: Militærpoliti
português: Polícia militar
slovenčina: Vojenská polícia
slovenščina: Vojaška policija
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Vojna policija
svenska: Militärpolis
українська: Військова поліція
Tiếng Việt: Cảnh sát quân sự
中文: 宪兵