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 January 22, 2010

News

New courtesy patrol program helps Soldiers stay safe, trouble-free

Soldiers in uniform are making the rounds of Monroe County bars and nightclubs, but these particular Soldiers won’t be joining in on the party.  They are from the 181st Infantry Brigade’s new “courtesy patrol” program, and they are stopping by to make sure their fellow Soldiers have a safe and trouble-free evening. 

PHOTO: Maj. Robert R. Frias (left) and Staff Sgt. Jorje Talavera, both mobilized Soldiers with the 2nd, 411th Regiment of the 181st Infantry Brigade, review the brigade’s Courtesy Patrol Standing Operating Procedure before going out on duty.   Photo by Master Sgt. Jerome M. DeBarge
Maj. Robert R. Frias (left) and Staff Sgt. Jorje Talavera, both mobilized Soldiers with the 2nd, 411th Regiment of the 181st Infantry Brigade, review the brigade’s Courtesy Patrol Standing Operating Procedure before going out on duty. (Photo by Master Sgt. Jerome M. DeBarge)

The 181st Infantry Brigade trains Soldiers who are heading to Afghanistan or Iraq. Many of its Soldiers are recently returned from deployment, or have been called to active duty from homes far away from Fort McCoy.  Thus, many of them are new to Monroe County. 

The courtesy patrols, which began in November, are staffed with senior noncommissioned officers (NCOs) and officers from the 181st, using a rotating roster. Patrols visit random establishments and perform spot checks. These experienced leaders are not performing a law-enforcement role. Courtesy patrols help Soldiers find a safe ride back to Fort McCoy when necessary, provide a convenient way for barkeepers to share any questions or concerns arising from Soldiers patronizing their establishments, and serve to remind Soldiers that the Army expects the highest standards when they are visiting the local community. As Col. Michael Todd, the commander of the 181st, said,  “The Army has an investment in our Soldiers, an investment the Army cannot afford to lose” through misconduct or injury.

Todd emphasized the primary responsibility for making the right choice still lies with each Soldier. “The courtesy patrol is a mentorship, a friendly reminder so a Soldier will act prudently,” Todd said.  “It is our Soldiers taking care of their own, guiding them so they will be safe.”

(Story submitted by Installation Legal Office.)

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