MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Combat Center staff non-commissioned officers began working with Palms Springs Police through the new Security Liaison at Palm Springs Police Department program designed to safeguard the health and welfare of Marines and sailors and to enforce applicable military regulations and orders, April 18, 2014.
The new initiative, which will be conducted every Friday, Saturday and holiday from the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., will consist of two uniformed service members physically locating at the office of the Palm Springs Police Department.
The Marines will act only as liaisons with the Police department, which will not require them to leave the department building. In the case of an incident with a Marine or sailor out in town, the two uniformed Marines will arrange transportation for them back to the Combat Center to await further action from their commanding officer.
“This is going to keep a positive, open-line of communication between us and the Marines,” said Mike Kovaleff, lieutenant, Palm Springs Police Department. “This is another great resource that we have to protect the safety of Marines. Like the tools on my duty belt, having the senior Marines here are another tool that we have to keep Marines safeguarded while they are enjoying their time in town.”
While there are no indications of any ongoing or growing incidents, the program is designed provide relatively accessible command representatives in the area for Marines and sailors to acquire assistance.
“Our main objective is to sustain the safety and welfare of our Marines and sailors while they are on liberty, so they return to work ready and focused to complete their duties and missions,” said Gunnery Sgt. Cesar Reyes, Company B gunnery sergeant, Headquarters Battalion.
While this program is not like the traditional shore patrol that is conducted at various stations throughout the Marines Corps, the command presence at the station will provide adequate support from the Marines to the Palm Springs Police.
“I volunteered for this, because I believe in the program,” Reyes said. “I used to conduct shore patrols overseas, and I believe that it works. If Marines know that senior Marines are patrolling around keeping order, or have a presence out in town, they are less likely to do something they know they aren’t supposed to.”
With the ultimate goal of safeguarding service members and the community in Palm Springs, this initiative is a positive on both ends, according to Kovaleff.
“We understand that Marines go through various hardships while they deploy, and we want them to be able to come to Palm Springs and enjoy their liberty,” Kovaleff said. “Public safety is our number one priority, and having Marines here to liaise with will ultimately help with that.”