Military News

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Local, state and federal law enforcement strengthens partnerships

by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault
21st Space Wing Public Affairs

11/18/2015 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Air Force Office of Special Investigations 8th Field Investigations Squadron and Detachment 808 hosted their annual Law Enforcement Luncheon with 122 law enforcement representatives from 26 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, Nov. 13, 2015.

The luncheon gathers Armed Forces and local law enforcement representatives to strengthen working relations and partnerships between the community and military installations. The guest speakers for the luncheon, speaking on the impact of the military on community policing, were Police Chief Peter Carey, Colorado Springs Police Department, and Sheriff Bill Elder, El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

The alliance between the community and the military installations is important to keeping the area safe. There are approximately 664,000 people in El Paso County, and it is home to five of the largest, highly-active military installations in the state, said Elder.

"I am proud of the collaboration we have in our community between the civilian law enforcement agencies and our surrounding military installations," said Carey. "I think the way we do things is unique and I believe we have established a model other communities should emulate."

During the luncheon, the Teller County Sheriff's Office and Chaffee County Sheriff's Office were also recognized for actions that saved the lives of two active-duty Air Force members.

Working with AFOSI and CSPD, the Teller County Sheriff's Office was recognized for their quick response locating an Air Force member in time to prevent an attempted suicide, Sept. 2014.

The Chaffee County Sheriff's Office also helped locate an Airman in June 2015 after the Airman became injured and went missing for three days while hiking in the Mount Shavano area.

Both Sheriff's Offices, along with other local and military law enforcement, worked together to bring the Airmen home.

"The success of this area is fully dependent on (the community) and the military, it's dependent on the relationships that we talk about, and the relationships we build and sustain," said Elder. "I'm honored to work alongside so many true heroes day in and day out; I'm proud to live in such a patriotic community and thank each and every one of you for your service."

Currently just under half of the police applicants and people hired for CSPD have military experience, said Carey.

"One of the biggest opportunities that we all have is that we can learn from each other, we have every chance to train together, share the same facilities and otherwise gain from the collective experience as military members and civilian law enforcement officers," said Carey, "I can say without hesitation that the members of my command staff have learned a lot from seeing how the military counterparts operate."

The alliance between the community and the military installations is just as important to military as it is the community.

"It is critical for the military to have a close partnership with local, state, and federal law enforcement," said Lt. Col. Laurinda Reifsteck, AFOSI 8th Field Investigations Squadron commander. "Those partnerships are critical to enabling the U.S. Air Force to sustain its mission capability and take the fight to our enemies."

The annual luncheon is one of several events the 8th Field Investigations Squadron leads and participates in on top of their duty positions from criminal and fraudulent investigations to counterintelligence. AFOSI offers world class training in forensics, interrogations, crime scene processing, firearms, and much more in more than 40 overseas locations and in all 50 states.

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