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Military Police Training Transition Program

By Pfc. Casey Scarpulla | | August 29, 2014

The Western Arizona Law Enforcement Academy in Lake Havasu, Arizona, recently implemented the Military Police Training Transition Program (MPTTP). The intent behind the eight-week course is to give military police officers the opportunity to transition straight into a career in Arizona law enforcement once they complete their active military service.

The course provides service members an avenue to use their military experience in the civilian sector. Staff Sgt. Jason Biggers, a watch commander for the MCAS Yuma Provost Marshal Office, was the first Marine from the air station to volunteer.

“Since I’m retiring sometime next summer, it’s something that I did for myself to get ready for retirement,” said Biggers, who graduated the MPTTP on Aug. 8. “Instead of going through the police department and…the full 19-week academy, [this program] condenses it to eight weeks due to the prior experience of being a military police officer.”

Throughout the course, students were trained in every aspect of law enforcement, from correctly writing a traffic citation, to dealing with aggravated assault and domestic violence. They also covered everything the 19-week academy teaches, just at a faster pace.

“I can apply to any [police] department [in Arizona],” said Biggers, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico. “I’d actually be a better candidate because they’re not going to have to pay for me to go through the academy. That’s going to save them thousands of dollars; they can put me straight to work.”

The main adjustments between civilian and military law enforcement are the differences between Arizona statutes and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The program’s testing is based mostly on the Arizona Revised Statute, which consists of traffic laws and criminal laws. Military police officers seeking to graduate this program should study prior to attending, said Biggers.

“If is looking at retiring, going to this course would be good for them vice having to go through 19 weeks and being in your mid-to-late 30s against all the 21-year-old kids,” added Biggers. “It’d be a lot easier, plus you’re with all military personnel.”

Biggers said his command was extremely supportive in his decision to attend this program and hopes more military police officers attend the course.
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