PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Air Force Office of Special Investigations 8th Field Investigations Squadron and Detachment 808 hosted their annual Law Enforcement Luncheon with 122 law enforcement representatives from 26 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies Nov. 13.
The luncheon gathered Armed Forces and local law enforcement representatives to strengthen working relations and partnerships between the community and military installations. The guest speakers for the luncheon, Police Chief Peter Carey, Colorado Springs Police Department, and Sheriff Bill Elder, El Paso County Sheriff's Office, spoke on the impact of the military on community policing.
The alliance between the community and the military installations is important to keeping the area safe. There are approximately 664,000 people in El Paso County, and it is home to five of the largest, most highly-active military installations in the state, said Elder.
"I am proud of the collaboration we have in our community between the civilian law enforcement agencies and our surrounding military installations," said Carey. "I think the way we do things is unique and I believe we have established a model other communities should emulate."
During the luncheon, the Teller County Sheriff's Office and Chaffee County Sheriff's Office were recognized for actions that saved the lives of two active-duty Air Force members earlier in the year.
In September 2014, the Teller County Sheriff's Office worked with AFOSI and CSPD to locate an Air Force member in time to prevent an attempted suicide.
In June 2015, the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office helped locate an Airman after the Airman became injured and went missing for three days while hiking in the Mount Shavano area.
"The success of this area is fully dependent on [the community] and the military, it's dependent on the relationships that we talk about and the relationships we build and sustain," said Elder. "I'm honored to work alongside so many true heroes day in and day out; I'm proud to live in such a patriotic community and thank each and every one of you for your service."
Currently just under half of the police applicants and people hired for CSPD have military experience, said Carey.
"One of the biggest opportunities that we all have is that we can learn from each other, we have every chance to train together, share the same facilities and otherwise gain from the collective experience as military members and civilian law enforcement officers," said Carey, "I can say without hesitation that the members of my command staff have learned a lot from seeing how the military counterparts operate."
The alliance between the community and the military installations is just as important to military as it is the community.
"It is critical for the military to have a close partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement," said Lt. Col. Laurinda Reifsteck, AFOSI 8th Field Investigations Squadron commander. "Those partnerships are critical to enabling the U.S. Air Force to sustain its mission capability and take the fight to our enemies."
The annual luncheon is one of several events the 8th Field Investigations Squadron leads and participates in on top of their duty positions from criminal and fraudulent investigations to counterintelligence. AFOSI offers world class training in forensics, interrogations, crime scene processing, firearms and much more in more than 40 overseas locations and in all 50 states.
For more information about AFOSI and its recruitment process, contact AFOSI 8th Field Investigations Squadron at 719-556-4347 or visit www.osi.af.mil