Jefferson Barracks Establishes Civilian Police Force> Air National Guard> Post Display
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Jefferson Barracks Air National Guard Base is building its own police force, the first of its kind for an Air National Guard facility. The force will be composed of the Civilian Police of the Department of the Air Force by order of Title 5, which means that military training is not required for the position.
“Our officers will have jurisdiction, authority to arrest and will be armed.” said Captain Greg Myers, conversion officer for the 131st security forces operating location. “This is the first of its kind: a Title 5 law enforcement organization within the Air National Guard. It looks like a typical security force squadron, but they are all civilians. “
Myers said that in July 2021 almost all 35 positions were filled and there was huge interest in the jobs.
“Having civilian positions opened the doors to a diverse pool of applicants. Myers said. “I got feedback from our state human resources office that this was one of the biggest pools of candidates they’ve seen. We had candidates who were SWAT leaders, Secret Service, FBI forensic analysts, and veterans of all military services except Space Force.
Myers works alongside Chief Master Sgt. Mark Kaufmann, representative of the security forces and responsible for the program. Kaufmann was previously a senior enlisted adviser for the Michigan National Guard’s Joint Staff, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create a new type of organization in the Air National Guard.
Newly hired civilian defenders wait to attend the Air Department’s Law Enforcement Training Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, which is a 10-and-a-half-week school. After graduation, defenders will receive additional on-the-job training at Jefferson Barracks.
A civilian force also means no military uniform for officers. Instead, they will have a black and blue federal police uniform. Civilian Defenders of Jefferson Barracks will patrol both in vehicles and by bicycle.
In 2013, the 131st Bomb Wing Security Forces Squadron was disbanded and contract security was used as primary protection at Jefferson Barracks. Since then, Jefferson Barracks has grown, adding units and personnel from the Air and Military National Guard, Army Reserve, Defense Intelligence Agency, Navy Reserve, and Army Audit Agency. Other organizations have also expressed interest in a future at Jefferson Barracks. Kaufmann said the increase in the base population justified an increase in the level of security and service.
Kaufmann said the new organization is expected to be fully operational by June 2022, but new officers are already integrating into the base’s current security guards. He said other ANG units are interested in what is happening at Jefferson Barracks and how to develop their own civilian police force.
“We hope to pave the way for helping other programs in the future to successfully convert to title 5 positions,” Kaufmann said. “We are making sure to build a premier organization that is a benchmark for the Air National Guard to replicate.”