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Maryland Guard, Bosnia-Herzegovina police trade techniques

By Sarah M. McClanahan and Pfc. Armin Hadzic | Maryland National Guard | Sept. 10, 2019

SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA - The Maryland Army National Guard’s 115th Military Police Battalion’s course on criminal investigation procedures for the Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina morphed into an exercise in sharing best practices.

The intent of the training at Rajlovac Barracks Sept. 2-6 was to teach the AFBiH military police basic military police investigation procedures. But most of the participants already had investigation operations experience, so attendees ended up sharing their experiences rather than building a foundation of knowledge.

“It was our understanding when we came over that we would be teaching military police investigations to military police officers,” said Sgt. Maj. Richard Magnum, command sergeant major of the 115th Military Police Battalion, Maryland Army National Guard. “What we found out when we got here was most of the class had already been working as military police investigators. Instead of being an introductory class, we adapted the class to make it more of an exchange of information, tactics, techniques and procedures.”

Magnum said they did not come to BiH to make their military police exactly like those in the United States. Instead, they wanted to share experiences and improve the existing AFBiH military police training.

While both the MDNG and AFBiH had extensive experience as military police, many of the members also had worked for years as civilian police and detectives. Each member of the class shared information and tips about their area of expertise, including interviews, interrogation and crash reconstruction.

Service members were challenged to use existing or new tools to explain and implement the pieces of a crime investigation kit, identify the entry point of a bullet through glass and solve the hypothetical theft of their highly valued coffee machine.

“Brotherhood creates a solid foundation to combat or fight crimes that are occurring worldwide, such as human trafficking or drug trafficking issues like terrorism,” said Spc. Alfonso Matos, a course instructor assigned to the 200th Military Police Company. “When you combine forces, the end result is always success.”