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Fort Gordon courtesy patrols to work downtown, retail areas

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 10:17 AM
Last updated 6:36 PM
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Fort Gordon officers will begin late-night courtesy patrols in downtown Augusta and other popular retail areas Wednesday as part of a “renewed emphasis on the standards of conduct, discipline and military values” honored at the Army post, officials announced.

The patrols will consist of one officer and two noncommissioned officers who will visit locations including downtown and Augusta Mall from 5 p.m. to 6 a.m. on weekdays, and around-the-clock on weekends and holidays.

Post officials stressed that the courtesy patrol will act as a representative of the chain of command, not as a law enforcement tool.

Patrol officers who observe a service member in a situation that requires attention will identify themselves and intervene. If that does not resolve the situation, they will contact local authorities or military police on post, said Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Stockton, who is overseeing the courtesy patrol program for the Fort Gordon Garrison Command.

“Our nation has been at war for the past 12 years,” Stockton said. “This is part of getting back to the basics.”

With the elimination of 12 combat brigades and 80,000 soldiers across the U.S., the Army announced last month Fort Gordon would actually see its troop levels increase 250 spaces by 2019 in order to make the country more “lethal, agile, adaptable and responsive” to emerging cyber threats.

In charge of soldier discipline and training at Fort Gordon, Stockton said courtesy patrol officers will work in dress uniform and wear an arm band labeled “courtesy patrol” to be highly visible to establishment owners if a situation arises.

“I believe this program will have a positive affect on Fort Gordon and the surrounding area,” Stockton said. “It will build stronger relationships with businesses, officials and residents across the region.”

Fort Gordon officials said the post used courtesy patrol in the past, but not since its “early years.”

“Courtesy patrols are nothing new,” said spokesman Buz Yarnell, who added he was subject to such patrols when he served in Korea. “These programs have been in existence for decades and are currently in operation at other installations, including some overseas.”

He said officials say that from Fort Wainwright in Alaska to Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga., courtesy patrols have proved effective in ensuring that service members meet expectations in conduct and discipline.

On weekdays, on-post courtesy patrols will be made up of a soldier and a sister service member. On weekends and holidays, the group will increase to two soldiers and two sister service members.

Each team will tour the post from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily to check such things as appropriate attire and conduct.

Yarnell said the program is zero tolerance.

“If a service member encounters a courtesy patrol, on or off duty, and they instruct the service member to do something, that service member should comply as if their commander gave them the same instructions,” he said.

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Riverman1
93532
Points
Riverman1 07/09/13 - 09:46 am
9
1
Ah...just like the old days.

Ah...just like the old days. It should add an element of law enforcement to the city even though it's not the MP's. They can also report to the RCSO suspicious activity. It's a plus all around. But one problem is telling who is in the military. Short haircuts are in style with civilians these days.

Little Lamb
48972
Points
Little Lamb 07/09/13 - 09:50 am
6
0
Tattoos

Yes, and tattoos are also in style with civilians these days.

pelumaad
83
Points
pelumaad 07/09/13 - 10:04 am
4
2
Slippery slope?

I wonder if we had "courtesy patrols" in Iraq and Afghanistan?

dichotomy
37418
Points
dichotomy 07/09/13 - 10:08 am
6
3
Another useless duty roster

Another useless duty roster with 13 and 24 hour shifts for FG non-coms. How often will this dirty duty come around? How much time will this take them away from their REAL jobs? I suppose their bosses will knock them down a notch or two on their evaluation reports when their REAL day to day job suffers when they aren't there because they were up all night baby sitting the Mall and the bars. Seems like an awful waste of time and manpower for a post that can't keep the gates open. And how much good will it do? I haven't seen any inordinate amount of incidents in the news involving GIs in the Mall or running wild in the PX. I can't imagine how we've managed to train and fight 3 wars in the past 25 years without Courtesy Patrols in the Mall. I thought Mickey Mouse died with VOLAR.

triscuit
3266
Points
triscuit 07/09/13 - 10:34 am
5
0
Not a bad idea, but most of

Not a bad idea, but most of the problems with bad behavior in town are NOT from Ft. Gordon's people.

resident
501
Points
resident 07/09/13 - 02:12 pm
6
1
It should not be this

Last time I checked it was every service member's responsibility to wear the uniform proudly and honorably, that meant be in compliance with standards of conduct while it. What have now is a group that has made it TABOO to correct someone not wearing it properly or behaving in an honorable way while wearing it. I have seen plenty just go into a Bar or not wear cover, unblouse boots, unbutton shirts, Wear PTs al over the place. This attitude needs correcting and if this fixes and changes the behavior it is not a waste but if it is just another annoying duty..Then they need a more disciplined solution with the emphasis in discipline.

rocketserve
282
Points
rocketserve 07/09/13 - 03:31 pm
5
5
???
Unpublished

So let me get this straight...They closed Gate 2 because of furloughs and lack of funds and caused all sorts of uproar but yet they can send officers out to patrol the streets because the police force the county pays for cannot do it?

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 07/09/13 - 03:42 pm
7
4
"So let me get this
Unpublished

"So let me get this straight...They closed Gate 2 because of furloughs and lack of funds and caused all sorts of uproar but yet they can send officers out to patrol the streets because the police force the county pays for cannot do it?"
VERY WELL SAID

LillyfromtheMills
14285
Points
LillyfromtheMills 07/09/13 - 06:26 pm
5
0
I remember those days

I ran across a fellow one time, he was from Nebraska and said he remembered Augusta well - he had to sleep in a store front cause he'd spent all his money on a ring for his sweetheart back home!

LillyfromtheMills
14285
Points
LillyfromtheMills 07/09/13 - 06:28 pm
4
0
LillyfromtheMills
14285
Points
LillyfromtheMills 07/09/13 - 06:31 pm
4
0
And the bad folks

Called our military - doggies and much worse

corgimom
38337
Points
corgimom 07/09/13 - 07:49 pm
6
2
"Post officials stressed that

"Post officials stressed that the courtesy patrol will act as a representative of the chain of command, not as a law enforcement tool."

Hahahaha. Sure.

Something happened, don't know what, but they don't do this "just because". There was trouble of some sort. If I had to guess, I'd say it has something to do with drugs, they must be having too many dirty pee tests lately.

Darby
29216
Points
Darby 07/09/13 - 11:03 pm
5
1
"So let me get this straight..."

You're dealing with government and the military brass.

Why do you think it has to make sense?

Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 07/10/13 - 03:10 am
4
0
I loved Shore Patrol, the

I loved Shore Patrol, the Navy did it all the time. One on duty for every 50 Sailors on the beach. Gave me a chance to scope out the area prior to my liberty.

myfather15
56558
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 04:56 am
3
1
Augusta Resident

Yes, I remember Shore Patrol very well. But that was on a "Med float" (Mediterranean Deployment). SP's would be in every city keeping us drunk Marines in order, or at least trying!! That was mainly so the SP's could take charge of us and the personel hopefully not get arrested abroad!! They wanted OUR guys to handle us, not foreign police.

At Camp Lejeune (Jacksonville, NC) I don't remember SP's or CP's, it just wasn't needed!! The civilian law enforcement was very well trained on how to deal with military personel!!

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
11036
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 07/10/13 - 04:57 am
4
1
A great idea.

I recall in the past if you had a problem with a service member you contacted he Command Sergeant Major of the post and he would handle it, thereby keeping the recruit out of civilian jail. What they got was worse, restricted to base, usually scrubbing pots, pans, garbage cans and latrines for 6 months to a year. Normally that cured behavior problems. This is just putting that mans eyes and ears in more places. They don't want to become part of the problem and are being proactive. Kudos to them!!!

myfather15
56558
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 05:04 am
4
0
I must also agree with rocketsteve

They can't afford to keep the gates open all week, but they can waste money on this? Take these three and put them on gate 2, so people don't have to waste 2.5 hours getting to work on Mondays.

I thought the article just yesterday stated it was against federal policy to pull people from their "regular duties" to man other areas??? Did it not? I'm sure these officers primary job is not CP; these are officers being pulled from other areas, I'll bet on that. So the military is lying to us?

Why would they be doing this? It simply does NOT make any sense!! Do you really believe three individuals, walking around department stores, clothing stores, etc; is going to make a major difference in a city the size of Augusta? If they do one store at a time, It could be a year before they get back to the store they started with. What a WASTE!!!!

myfather15
56558
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 05:11 am
3
0
Coldbeer

It still is the way you describe, but you don't need three individuals walking around town to get it done. As a LE officer, we call base all the time to report soldiers behavior and YES, they still get in trouble. I honestly just don't see how three people is going to make a difference.

I guess one would say, it can't hurt anything and they might be correct. But, if you think about the fact that people waited almost 3 hours in line to get on base Monday, they could use their resources better. That's all I'm saying.

seenitB4
97254
Points
seenitB4 07/10/13 - 06:28 am
4
2
Good idea

I like it...more eyes & more more boots on the ground.

nocnoc
49121
Points
nocnoc 07/10/13 - 06:42 am
2
0
Remember this from the 1960's and early 70's

It was a great idea then and if operated under the same rules of back then,

It will have a chilling effect on few A.I.T. students before they need arresting.

CobaltGeorge
175569
Points
CobaltGeorge 07/10/13 - 07:07 am
1
0
I Believe

that these CP's will have an effect on curbing whatever problems our military is having with some of our men/woman in the civilian world. It helps a lot to prevent the civilian's from getting a sour taste about our military. I just hope they don't get into any confrontation with the "Pants On The Ground" locals.

soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 07/10/13 - 08:19 am
1
0
May 1970. It took the GA national guard to restore order.
Unpublished

May 1970. It took the GA national guard to restore order.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
11036
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 07/10/13 - 03:29 pm
0
0
My Father

I work at a location that has in the last years had an influx of personnel of 3 times our normal staffing. It is accessed by two lane roads. I know that traffic will increase due to this so I've been proactive to leave for work earlier and arrive earlier. I made arrangements with my managers to ok this first. It seems that the people who waited in line had plenty of notice of the gate closures and if they are responsible ADULTS then they should be able to plan accordingly. Just remember two things, Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part! and Ignorance of the law or in this case the changes is no excuse!!!

oldfella
620
Points
oldfella 07/10/13 - 05:00 pm
0
0
Apples and oranges folks

For those of you comparing "hey you" duties like a courtesy patrol that any NCO or Officer can do, to guarding a gate that is already contracted, it's just not the same. It's a fact of modern life - civilian contractors/GS (Government Service) employees such as the Fort Gordon gate guards are making up more and more of our military support team. Our mess halls are almost all civilian, our personnel offices are civilian, many police on Fort Gordon are civilians, etc. Military labor (such as these courtesy patrols) is already paid for - they get a salary whether they stay home and watch TV or pull an extra duty like these patrols.

peace4784
130
Points
peace4784 07/11/13 - 06:08 am
0
0
It's called escalation in
Unpublished

It's called escalation in police state tactics. No rsistance.

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