Marine Corps Law Enforcement Battalions To “Control Civil Disturbances”
Troops to “assist local authorities” in criminal investigations
July 24, 2012
Units of hundreds of military police officers trained to investigate crimes have been created by the marine corps and will “assist local authorities” in securing crime scenes and building cases, reports the Associated Press.
The report notes that “The battalions will be capable of helping control civil disturbances, handling detainees, carrying out forensic work, and using biometrics to identify suspects.”
While the units, each comprising 500 military police officers and dozens of dogs, will “deploy worldwide”, recent forays by the military into domestic policing in the United States may have some Americans wondering if the newly created “law enforcement battalions” will be used at home.
Maj. Jan Durham, commander of the 1st Law Enforcement Battalion at Camp Pendleton told the AP that marines deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq have increasingly acted as police, in addition to their combat duties. Durham noted that the policing role will now be cemented as a permanent feature of the US marine corps.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Law Enforcement Battalions were activated last month and will be based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.; Camp Lejeune, N.C.; and Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan; respectively.
According to the report, the law enforcement battalions will convene at a Southern Command conference in Miami next month and showcase their services to government officials from Central American countries, such as Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Belize.