A look inside the 'extremely critical' mission of military police at JBLM

At Joint Base Lewis-McChord, military police officers respond to the same kind of calls civilian cops deal with in cities around your area.

“What most people don’t realize is we’re really a small city,” said Col. Thomas Russell-Tutty, commander of the 42nd MP Brigade. “We’ve got 110,000 people on this base at any given date.”

And there are about 1,000 soldiers enforcing the law at JBLM, and they are not just patrolling on the road.

They are training for combat missions and staffing one of the army’s few prison facilities. That also takes a lot of training.

“We perform a military police mission every day without a weapon, without a vest, without pepper spray, a taser, or even a baton,” said Cpt. Henderson, who commands the MP’s at the prison. “Every time a soldier goes in the facility to post, they have only their personal skills and their physical abilities to protect themselves from danger.”

The military police at JBLM also train with other police agencies in the area on new techniques, including how to handle active shooters.

Russell-Tutty said JBLM MP’s were some of the first responders when an Amtrak train derailed near Olympia last year.

“The mission of the military police here at JBLM is extremely critical.”