Local military bases seek civilian police

Over the next four years, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island will hire more than 80 civilian police officers as the Corps continues to look for ways to free up active-duty Marines to serve in combat.

Adopted in June 2007, the Corps put into motion a plan to hire about 1,200 civilian police officers over the next four years at bases across the country, according to a memo from Marine Headquarters in Quantico, Va. The Corps said it hopes to hire 400 police officers nationwide in the first year, with all of the hires are expected to be made by the end of 2011.

In Beaufort, 86 civilian police officers will be hired over the next four years on Parris Island and at MCAS Beaufort. Those hired will be trained police officers, not security guards, said Randy Walz, who is heading up the hiring of civilian police for the provost marshal's office at the air station and the depot.

"The Marine Corps is not hiring gate guards," he said. "We are hiring police officers to free up the military police to fight the war on terror. The police officers that we hire have the same responsibilities and the same arresting powers as MPs."

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