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Department of Defense Police Patch

Department of Defense Police, not to be confused with Pentagon Police, are the uniformed civilian security police officers of the United States Department of Defense various branches of the United States Armed Forces (such as the Department of the Navy). They are also referred to as DoD Police. The DoD Police are responsible for law enforcement and security services on DoD owned and leased buildings, facilities, properties and other DoD assets. It is important to note that "Department of Defense Police" is a catch-all phrase that refers to any civilian engaged in police duties for the Department of Defense and its component branches of the US Armed Forces.

Pentagon Police

There is a DoD police agency based at the Pentagon named the United States Pentagon Police, which is part of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency. Formerly the Defense Protective Service (DPS), the Pentagon Police have exclusive jurisdiction within the Pentagon Reservation and have concurrent jurisdiction with other police agencies (state, county, and local) in an area of approximately 280 acres (1.1 km2) around the complex. Through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Arlington County, U.S. Pentagon Police Officers also possess authority, to enforce laws while on duty in Arlington County, Alexandria, the District of Columbia, and various other areas throughout the National Capital Region.

Memorandums of understanding

Furthermore, memorandums of understanding (MOUs) that are established in agreement with either the City Police Chief or local Sheriff vary with every DoD facility. Other DoD Police facilities that have MOU agreements include DoD Police in San Francisco, CA, the Los Angeles Air Force Base DoD Police in Southern CA, and the DOD Police at the Norfolk Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia. Similar to the aforementioned Pentagon Police, the DoD Police (specifically, Department of the Air Force Police) stationed on Hanscom Air Force Base in Eastern Massachusetts maintain a MOU with multiple historically significant towns (Bedford, Lincoln, Concord, and Lexington).[citation needed]

Civil service series 0083

A DoD police officer is assigned the federal occupational series code "0083", the code reserved for police and federal protective officers in the civil service.[1] This occupational series code applies regardless of what specific agency of the Department of Defense the officer works for. Individual installations conduct the hiring process based upon local need, thus a person applying for a DoD police officer positions applies to specific installations. Some installations have detectives, which can share the same "0083" occupational series code as police officers or "1811" series as criminal investigators. These detectives investigate minor crimes that are not pursued by the special agent of each branches' investigative agency (such as NCIS, CID, or OSI).

However, it is crucial to note that based upon the guidelines set forth by the United States Office of Personnel Management.[2]


A DoD Police officer can expect to perform a variety of security roles.

One major function of a DoD officer is to conduct force protection duties. This often takes the form of ensuring that only authorized personnel access the installation by performing identification checks at fixed entry control points. Officers at fixed posts ensure that all entry requirements have been met before allowing an individual to proceed.

DoD officers also conduct patrols within the installation. An officer can conduct traffic stops for motor vehicle violations. Each jurisdiction adopts the surrounding state's motor vehicle laws under the Assimilative Crimes Act (see Federal Jurisdiction). There are two types of citations that may be issued: the DD Form 1408 Armed Forces Traffic Ticket, and the CVN formally known as "DD Form 1805 U.S. District Court Violation Notice". The DD Form 1408 does not have any monetary fines associated with it and is typically use as a warning or other type of punishment. The CVN (DD Form 1805) can, however, carry a monetary fine or require a mandatory appearance in U.S. District Court. DoD officers also respond to all calls for law enforcement assistance that take place within or surrounding the installation. If the crime is found to be a major felony, then the matter is generally referred to the special agents of the applicable investigative agency (NCIS, CID, OSI, FBI, etc.). There are increasing opportunities for participation in specialized roles. Civilian DoD officers may serve as K-9 officers or members of a special response team (SRT).

On January 2, 2013 President Obama signed into law H.R. 4310 which clarifies in section 1089 that DoD police are qualified Police Officers and may legally carry concealed weapons.


Actual requirement vary from between service branches, agencies, and installations. There are, however, a few requirements that are nearly universal. A major requirement of any potential DoD officer is to pass a medical exam. While there is not typically an uncorrected vision requirement, candidates must have normal color vision, depth perception, and sufficiently good corrected vision. Every DoD officer is required to get and maintain a "Secret" clearance. The background investigation must show the candidate to be free of substantial debt or foreign influence. Under the Lautenberg Amendment, officers cannot have any convictions for domestic violence. Departments also require an interview with the candidate. Candidates can be required to take and pass a physical fitness test. This test could take the form of the same type of test that is issued to military members (as in the case of Department of the Army officers) or the so-called Illinois Agility Test, a type of obstacle course (as in the case of some Department of the Navy officers). Some installations require the officer pass this test annually, something not typically required of local city or town police officers (though they may take one in their respective academies). There is a great deal of variance between installations on the issue of the physical fitness test.

Whether or not a candidate has to attend a DoD academy (see "Training" section below) depends on both the installation and the officer's experience. A candidate transferring from another agency who has attended a state certified or FLETC academy is occasionally excused from attending a DoD academy.[citation needed]


With the singular exception of those Officers of the Pentagon Police. DoD agency sends their officers to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) certified academies in Maryland, Missouri and Whitesands( DoD Police training outside of the Department of Defense itself may or may not be standardized and each military service (Army, Navy, & Air Force) may choose other academies and/or training regiments that satisfy their needs and requirements. The Department of Veterans Affairs Law Enforcement Training Center (LETC) often serves as a training program that is able and willing to meet the training requirements for DoD Officers and their respective installations. There are also various specialized government and private entities that supply specialized training to DoD Officers on an as needed basis. Some DOD Police Officers have concurrent jurisdiction, meaning they can enforce state laws off base and the city police can enforce state laws on the base.


DoD officers wear typical police style uniforms, more often than not in a shade of dark "L.A.P.D" blue. Many installations now issue solid blue or black BDUs/TDUs for officers with cloth badges and name tapes. Badges and patches vary widely between agencies and installations. The US Navy Police is the only DOD police agency who require their civilian police in the southeastern Virginia area to wear the smaller, less expensive Navy's Master at Arms military uniform badges instead of the more common full size police badges. This often confuses other military members and civilians into thinking the civilian police officers are in the military.

DoD officers carry pepper spray, a police baton (typically an expandable ASP), a taser, handcuffs, radio, spare ammunition, latex gloves, and other commonly seen police equipment. Bulletproof vests are also issued. During higher threat conditions, officers could be equipped with Kevlar helmets and other protective equipment.

The vast majority of officers working for the branches of the Armed Forces are armed with the M-9 pistol. The military does not normally use hollow-point ammunition due to the Hague Convention of 1899. However, some DOD Police agencies have authorization for hollow point ammunition. DOD officers can also be armed with the M11 pistol. Other firearms that may be issued include the Mossberg 500 shotgun, the M-16 rifle, or M-4 carbine.

DoD police vehicles vary widely, with vehicles ranging from Chevy Silverados to Ford Explorers and even Dodge Chargers. However, most installations and agencies use the Chevy Impala or Ford Crown Victoria. Vehicles may be marked or unmarked and utilize emergency blue and red lights and sirens.

See also


External links

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