that can be expected during their tour of duty. Traffic conditions, report of missing persons, special
events, weapons, safety, and any special topics are discussed.
b. The new shift should also be alerted to problems encountered by MPs during the 24 hours
since they were last on duty. All important incidents, such as robberies, assaults, or drug apprehensions
should be passed on to the new shift so they will be alert for related incidents.
c. The briefing should also point out areas or buildings requiring special observation. Often the
oncoming shift will be required to complete projects started, but not completed, by the previous shift.
Follow-up actions, such as contacting victims or witnesses, may be required. For these and other
practical reasons, there must be coordination and communication between the shifts. Make sure that
briefings are informative and complete. It is important that communication procedures are established.
At the briefing, the brevity and duress codes are stated. Patrols must be familiar with the procedures to
back up other patrols. This is the time to cover and reinforce the principles of use of force. Based on
current activities, the patrol supervisor or desk sergeant will assign patrols to specific areas.
d. MP patrol units will do their job correctly if they are given direction and guidance. Crime
statistics should be given to the patrols. As the operations officer, you are aware of the statistics in the
patrol areas. Make sure you give this data to the patrols. Tell the MPs where the crime is happening. It
is important that you give the MPs direction, things to look for, and problems found in their patrol area.
e. To prepare an adequate briefing for an oncoming shift, it is necessary to gather pertinent
information from the off-going shift. This gathering of information is usually in the form of a
debriefing. Debriefings are held at the end of each shift. Each member of the shift informs their patrol
supervisor of all significant problems and observations during their tour. This is then passed on to the
next shift's patrol supervisor, and included in briefing the oncoming shift. It is difficult to improve on
direct communication between persons. Whenever possible, there should be a meeting between
members of the off-going and oncoming shifts. This may be done on an individual basis, as in the case
of MPs relieving others at fixed posts or specified patrol areas. An even more effective method of
communication between shifts is the shift conference. This allows the outgoing MPs to relate to the
oncoming MPs first hand information and experiences from their tour of duty. The MP has been making
observations and gaining impressions throughout the tour which may be useful to the next shift. Even if
the information is not important enough to justify a written report, it may be of value.
a. A common complaint by provost marshals is that the shift design for MPs leaves little time
for job-related training. Unit training time allocated by commanders is often filled by general subjects
from the Army Training