Fort McCoy News February 28, 2014

McCoy police chief receives IMCOM's Stalwart Award

Innovating, team building, mentoring and budgeting all were factors that led to Directorate of Emergency Services (DES) Fort McCoy Police Chief Robert Stapel III being selected to receive an Installation Management Command (IMCOM) Stalwart Award.

Stapel was honored for work done at the DES Police Department during calendar year 2012. The accomplishments included reducing costs, improving or upgrading security measures, introducing training to support Army Reserve military police (MP) personnel and using Fort McCoy's training assets to support law-enforcement training of other agencies.

Photo for Stalwart article
Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott presents the Installation Management Command Stalwart Award to Fort McCoy Chief of Police Robert Stapel III. Stapel was accompanied by his wife, Kristin Stutz. Photo by Geneve N. Mankel

Stapel was one of seven people to receive IMCOM Stalwart Awards.

"It was an honor to be nominated for the award by the senior leadership," Stapel said. "I'm extremely honored to work here and with the people here. This isn't really my award, it's everybody's award."

In the nomination, DES Director Mark Fritsche stated that Stapel is a strong supporter and steward of IMCOM's Business Improvement Lean Six Sigma Program. Stapel applied the program principles to implement continuous improvement in the DES-Police/Physical Security Division, which improved operating effectiveness and also saved almost $1 million.

"My goal has been to maintain our efficiency during a time of constrained resources," Stapel said. "We try to conduct a complete and thorough analysis and look at all possibilities to ensure we can provide the same level of services within the parameters placed upon us through the budget appropriations and/or other mandates."

An example was the decision to close two access control points (ACPs) as a result of manpower reductions and a reduction in available funds to bring the auxiliary ACPs to Army Standards for ACPS, and, at the same time, maintain elevated anti-terrorism standards.

Stapel said training plays a key role in helping everyone reach their potential to provide good customer service to the installation.

He has served as a mentor to 10 new police supervisors in the last four years and is a staunch supporter of the IMCOM Campaign Plan Line of Effort 3 — Leader and Workforce Development.

A Fort McCoy Police Department lieutenant went through the FBI National Academy 10-week course, attaining a 4.0 grade-point average and personally received his certificate from FBI Director Robert Mueller. Stapel said the lieutenant shares his expertise with other law-enforcement agencies through training and networking.

Fort McCoy's active training program includes inviting other local law-enforcement agencies to train at Fort McCoy, Stapel said.

"Local civilian agencies have very limited access to weapons ranges or training assets, such as the live-fire shoot house, to train (on various incidents), that Fort McCoy has," Stapel said. "Inviting local law enforcement agencies to train here ensures they receive the most up-to-date training possible."

Observing the principles of the Army Community Covenant helps build and support neighboring law-enforcement agencies while also gaining public support for the installation, Fritsche said.

Fort McCoy DES also accepted the role to provide annual law-enforcement and certification training to Army Reserve MPs over a three-year period.

By assuming this pilot role, Fort McCoy did a lot of detailed work to help develop the first standardized Army Reserve MP training and certification program.

The training is being reviewed as a proof-of-principle model. If approved, the training will become the standard for Army Reserve MPs and will be implemented at other IMCOM installations, Fritsche said.

Stapel and the Police Department also have not forgotten about the people side of law enforcement. They have distributed coloring books to children at the ACPs and also provide support to selected community events, such as Halloween trick or treating and Christmas gift distribution for the South Post Housing Area. The DES Police Department also offers car safety seat checks and provides proper car safety seat installation training to parents. The service is offered to the cities of Tomah and Sparta, which don't have their own programs.

"We are an active member in the Fort McCoy community and provide support to events to help make it be the best community possible (both on the installation where people work, train and live and in the neighboring communities where many members of the workforce live)," Stapel said.