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The Canadian Forces Military Police Group

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The Canadian Forces Military Police Group
BG – 09.011 - March 17, 2009

The Canadian Forces Military Police Group (CF MP Gp) is a formation of the Canadian Forces established in November 2007 to group Military Police units that do not otherwise belong to the environmental commands (Army, Navy and Air Force) or operational commands (Canada Command, Canadian Expeditionary Force Command, Canadian Operational Support Command, and Canada Special Operations Forces Command).

The CF MP Gp is comprised of the following subordinate units:

•The CF National Investigation Service (CFNIS);
•The Military Police Security Service (MPSS);
•The CF Service Prison and Detention Barracks (CFSPDB); and
•The CF Military Police Academy (CFMPA).

Command and control

The Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM) is the CF MP Gp Commander, in addition to maintaining the duties of MP Branch Advisor. A Deputy Commander manages the day-to-day issues of the formation. The Military Police Branch Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) is also designated as the Group CWO.

The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

The CFNIS is an independent Military Police unit with the mandate to investigate serious and sensitive matters in relation to National Defence property, DND employees and CF personnel serving in Canada and around the world. The CFNIS has authority and jurisdiction over persons subject to the Code of Service Discipline, wherever they are established or deployed throughout the world, regardless of rank or status.

The unit is comprised of a small Headquarters in Ottawa, and seven permanent detachments, six regional detachments across Canada and a centrally located support detachment. On a major CF deployment, a detachment of the CFNIS may be established on a temporary basis.

Although they are located on military bases/wings, CFNIS personnel work independently from the normal military chain of command. Through their Commanding Officer, they receive direction and report directly to the CF MP Gp Commander.

Members of the CFNIS are selected from fully trained, experienced Military Police members who have completed various Military Police training and have been employed for at least one tour of duty as a Military Police on a Base or Wing. After selection, they undergo specialized training depending on their positions and also have to complete a one-year internship before operating as a full fledged investigator.

The CFNIS was established in 1997 and performs a function similar to that of a major crime unit of the RCMP or large municipal police agency. The CFNIS will investigate serious and sensitive matters alleged to have been committed on Defence establishments. Examples of the types of investigations conducted by the CFNIS include sexual offences, illicit drug offences, theft above $5000 and fraud.

The Military Police Security Service

The MPSS, formerly known as the Military Security Guard Unit, is as a unit of the CF MP Gp seconded to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). The role of the MPSS is to provide security services to specific Canadian Foreign Missions and related properties under the direction of the appropriate Head of Mission. These services include protection of classified and administratively controlled material and equipment, Canadian personnel and property. The performance of these duties includes the execution of instructions for the protection of Canadian Foreign Service Missions and their personnel in emergencies.

The MPSS employs over a hundred Military Police personnel. The MPSS personnel are located at the unit headquarters, in Ottawa, and at 47 Canadian Embassies, High Commissions, or Consulates around the world. MPs apply to the MPSS and receive their specific assignment after they have been selected.

The first embassy to employ MP personnel as Military Security Guards was Beirut in 1976. The MSGU was declared an official unit of the CF in 1990, and was officially renamed the MPSS in 2009.

The CF Service Prison and Detention Barracks

Originally established as one of several military detention centres, the CFSPDB, located at CFB Edmonton, is now the sole, permanently established military corrections facility remaining in the CF. The roles of the CFSPDB include: to provide imprisonment and detention services for Canadian Forces service detainees, service prisoners and service convicts; to adjust detainees and prisoners to service discipline, and prepare them to resume an effective role in the Canadian Forces; to return prisoners to civilian life, where appropriate, with improved attitude and motivation; and to provide subject matter expertise and guidance in support of Canadian Forces disciplinary programmes and deployed prisoner of war/detainee operations.

The CFSPDB continually updates and enhances the detention and imprisonment services it provides to the Canadian Forces, and establishes a standardized set of detention and imprisonment guidelines for use across the Canadian Forces, both in Canada and abroad.

Inmates at the CFSPDB serve sentences that range from 15-90 days of detention, to sentences of imprisonment up to two years less a day. Inmates serving a sentence of 14 days detention, or less, may serve their sentence at a local Unit Detention Room. Some inmates at the CFSPDB have been sentenced for disciplinary offences such as “Absent Without Authority” and “Conduct to the Prejudice of Good Order and Discipline”, or for more serious criminal or service offences.  The majority of the committals for these more serious charges are linked to drug-related convictions.  Specific challenges associated with rehabilitation for these inmates are met by enhancing the level of counseling available to the service inmate and further educating custodial staff members.

The CFSPDB is the CF Centre of Excellence for Detention and Custody training.  In this role the CFSPDB is responsible for conducting the national Detention Custodian course, which aims to provide new custodians with the necessary skills and knowledge to enable them to carry out custodial duties and procedures in the implementation of punishment of persons undergoing detention or imprisonment.

The CF Military Police Academy

The CF MP Academy (CFMPA), located in CFB Borden, is the professional home of the CF Military Police. It provides basic, advanced, and specialty training for all CF Military Police of both the Regular and Reserve Forces.  With a full-time staff of just over 50 personnel, training is conducted using a faculty system with instructors assigned to specific faculties – Law, Investigative Techniques, Police Operations, Force Protection/Security, Use of Force, Information Management and Leadership.

The CFMPA conducts a variety of career courses for Non-Commissioned Members of the Military Police including a basic course, junior Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) course, senior NCO course and Warrant Officers’ Course. In addition, it also conducts the Military Police Officer Course (MPOC), which is the basic course for officers of the MP Branch. Specialized training offered at the CFMPA includes the Military Police Investigators Course (MPIC) and the Unit Security Supervisor Course.