By Staff Sgt. Mark PattonFebruary 12, 2015
An FBI special agent, a captain with the Kansas City Police Department, a judge and a chief counsel with the Missouri Attorney General's Office were just a handful of the legal and law enforcement professionals that spoke to troops from the 92nd Military Police Battalion during a recent seminar.
The event, dubbed the Senior Leader Law Enforcement Seminar, took place at a hotel conference room in St. Robert, Missouri, Feb. 4 and 5, and featured guest instructors from around the state. Each of the eight speakers shared their expertise with the 92nd MP Bn. Soldiers in an interactive environment.
During the seminar, officer and enlisted leaders from the 92nd MP Bn., 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, gained insight into a variety of topics, such as criminal interdiction, evidence collection and use of force.
One discussion, spearheaded by Phelps County Judge Ronald White, revolved around criminal justice and an overview of the criminal courts system.
After an MP officer asked for advice on testifying in court, White opined the number one mistake that police officers should avoid is acting like a certain result is desired.
"Listen to the question, answer the question, wait for the next question," White said. "Don't get into game playing with defense lawyers, because they're better at it than you are."
Earlier in the seminar, troops quizzed Sgt. Carmelo Crivello, Rolla Sheriff's Deputy, on criminal interdiction and how he spots possible drug smugglers and the "tells" that give them away once stopped.
Captain Charles Huth with the Kansas City Police Department brought his 23 years of experience working in a major metropolitan police department to the seminar as he led a discussion on the use of force.
"I love my country and I'm humbled to be in the presence of Soldiers," Huth said about being invited to speak at the seminar.
Huth discussed perception and urged the audience to proactively educate people about what police officers do. He went on to cite court cases that provide the current framework for many use-of-force policies.
Huth also gave cautionary examples of civilian police officers, with otherwise clean records, making one slip up that changed their lives.
"Do not watch your fellow Soldiers/officers do career-ending acts. Stop them," Huth said.
The 92nd MP Bn.'s executive officer, Maj. Ryan Cagle, said the quarterly seminar is the battalion's newest pillar of leader development, one of four that make up the battalion's Phoenix Professionalizing the Professionals Program, or P4. Cagle said the P4 is a training program that the battalion is using to help improve basic MP skills, and other advanced methods of law enforcement.
Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Flom, the senior enlisted 92nd MP Bn. Soldier, said MPs spend a lot of time focusing on young Soldiers, citing formal training that the patrolman, traffic accident investigator and MP investigator generally receive at the junior ranks. Flom added that senior leaders are just as important and they are the ones that are going to make the MP profession even more professional.
"Our civilian counterparts have a work load that cannot be replicated on post, thereby increasing the skills and knowledge they have," Flom said. "Our senior leaders can now put this knowledge in their toolkit for the use of training and leading our MP Soldiers."
Flom says it's events like the seminar that will ultimately lead to a better-trained MP force that is professionally recognized and ready to respond to an ever changing environment.
First Lt. Hope Nelson said the seminar offered the MP leaders a chance to open their minds, further their learning and broaden their skillsets.
"There's so much we can learn from them," said Nelson, who professed after the first day of the seminar that she went home and thought about the topics for the rest of the night.
Each day of the seminar was capped off with a keynote speaker. On the first day, Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Woodring, U.S. Army MP Corps regimental command sergeant major, spoke to the Soldiers about the current state of the MP Corps and gave insight into the future of the MPs, along with a generous helping of career advice and motivation.
The seminar's keynote address was delivered on the final day by Susan Boresi, chief counsel, public safety division, Missouri attorney general's office.
Boresi has spent years working for the attorney general's office on the case of Missouri inmate Reginald Clemons, who was sentenced to death in a 1991 double-murder.
As Boresi laid out the details of the case against Clemons and others involved, she spoke to the captivated audience about evidence, trials, pleas and more. As the fate of Clemons still hangs in the balance with appeals, Boresi said she won't rest until she thinks justice is served.
She concluded her presentation with words tailored to her audience of MPs.
"That's why what you do matters," Boresi said.