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CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — U.S. military police want to begin joint patrols with Korean National Police in areas of Uijongbu City frequented by U.S. soldiers, 2nd Infantry Division Provost Marshal Maj. David Segalla said Friday.

Segalla said he met with Uijongbu police Monday to propose joint patrols in their city, which is home to several U.S. bases, including camps Red Cloud and Stanley.

Military police conduct their own patrols outside those two camps and they patrol alongside the KNP in Dongducheon, the city that surrounds Camp Casey — 2nd ID’s largest base in Area I.

“Joint patrols ensure coordination and cooperation between U.S. MPs and KNP in order to be more effective in increasing the security presence and use of assets in areas outside U.S. Army installations,” he said.

Segalla said the Uijongbu joint patrol initiative is not a reaction to any particular incident.

“It gives us the ability to have a KNP and U.S. soldier together to be able to respond to any incidents that involve both soldiers and Korean people, as opposed to having one or the other come in contact and then have to call and wait for the response of the other police officers,” he said.

However, two recent incidents have received attention in the South Korean media, including the reported theft of a vehicle by U.S. soldiers outside Camp Casey and a South Korean man’s report that he suffered deep cuts on his face on July 3 when he was struck with a beer bottle. On Friday, South Korean investigators interviewed three soldiers from Camp Red Cloud in connection with that incident.

While 2nd ID and 8th Army officials were unable to provide Area I crime statistics for this story, Segalla said the most common crimes involving both soldiers and South Korean civilians outside bases in Area I were larcenies and assaults.

Soldiers were both perpetrators and victims of such offenses, he added.

The joint patrols will target the areas where soldiers go off-post at the times when they most often visit those places. The patrols’ timing will be focused on paydays, U.S. holidays and weekend evenings, Segalla said.

“This is not something that could be done every day, all day,” he said.

He said MPs have yet to identify specific streets or clubs that will be the focus of the joint patrols.

The U.S. side of the patrols will involve both U.S. police and Korean Augmentees to the U.S. Army (KATUSA) MPs who can speak both English and Korean, he said.

Uijongbu Police officer Kim Jong-ok said areas considered for joint patrols included Uijongbu Subway Station and suburbs near the U.S. bases. The patrols would run from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., he said.

Officials also are considering a phone hot line between the U.S. MPs and Uijongbu police. The hot line would be to improve response time to incidents related to the status of forces agreement, which covers the U.S. military community serving on the peninsula.

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