Former servicemembers sought for civilian police jobs
October 18, 2016
The Defense Logistics Agency is recruiting the military community to staff a civilian police force for six installations in the United States.
A campaign running on the American Forces Network encourages servicemembers and their dependents to apply for the positions.
The agency is authorized 377 police officers, responsible for securing and policing its bases, but needs to recruit on a regular basis because of a high turnover rate as employees move on to other opportunities in police or government agencies, DLA police law enforcement manager Tim Gerald said in a phone interview this month.
“We have sites all over the U.S.,” he said of the agency, which operates massive warehouses and oversees the supply chain for the Department of Defense, providing warfighters with weapons, fuel, support equipment, food and uniforms.
The facilities include the Defense Supply Center in Richmond, Va.; Headquarters, Defense Logistics Agency at Fort Belvoir, Va.; DLA Distribution in New Cumberland, Pa.; the Defense Supply Center in Columbus, Ohio; and the Defense Distribution Depot in San Joaquin, Calif.
Police on the bases spend about 60 percent of their time doing law enforcement and 40 percent securing the installations. Crime on the bases is low, and the job involves patrolling housing areas, issuing speeding tickets and controlling access points, Gerald said.
Police officer Ramon Contreras, who served in the Marine Corps and appears in a recruiting video for the DLA force, said he heard about the job while he was still active duty.
The video shows a typical day for Contreras patrolling a day-care center at Fort Belvoir and “making sure the kids are safe.”
Another Marine Corps veteran in the recruiting video, Joshua Foulkrod, served two combat tours in Fallujah, Iraq, before becoming a police officer at the supply center in Richmond, Va.
“It’s a great transition from the military, and it’s a great place to continue your service,” he said.
The civilian police work 12.5-hour shifts, 14 days each month.
Anything that happens outside a base can happen on the inside, Foulkrod said.
“Since I’ve been here we have had suicides, we have had homicides and we have had gang-related activities,” he said.
The police jobs appeal to people who want to get their foot in the door in law enforcement and veterans who want to stay in touch with the military since the job involves interacting with servicemembers on a daily basis, Gerald said.
It’s not a world away from serving with military police or security forces, but the civilians never deploy and aren’t on call at all times or subject to recall, he said.
Starting pay depends on location and can range from $38,000 to $63,000. Recruits must complete a 12-week course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Ga., and get more training at their installations, Gerald said.
“We tend to promote from within so there are career opportunities,” he said. “DLA police force is a chance for people separating from the military, who are used to service, to continue to serve the warfighter.”
Servicemembers are a good fit for the jobs since they are disciplined and physically fit, Gerald said.
“If they were military police, then they already have training and we can waive some of the requirements and just bring them on and do localized training and put them to work,” he said. “But you don’t have to have been an MP to work for us.”
For more information, visit the DLA police website here.
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