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Addressing Problems Within The CID

A scathing 2020 report of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) at Fort Hood has led to questions about the effectiveness and viability of the CID nationwide, as explained by Kyle Rempfer at the Army Times. In response, CID special agents and other personnel are pushing for a restructuring of the CID that would transform the department into an independent organization and place civilians in charge.

The Report of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee, published on November 6, 2020, criticized the CID for failing to identify and address serious crime incidents, including the high-profile death of Spc. Vanessa Guillen. The report found that the CID lacked enough special agents to fully investigate serious incidents, and 92 percent of the Enlisted Special Agents and 46 percent of the Warrant Special Agents had less than one year of experience in the CID.

While most agree that these problems within the CID require attention, there is disagreement on the most effective response. The most drastic option involves converting most positions within the CID to civilian roles and removing military police officers from the command structure. Rather than reporting to the Army chief of staff, the CID would report to the undersecretary of the Army. This proposal, favored by many CID agents, would take between six and ten years to implement and cost roughly $480 million. This change could be effective because it addresses the “dueling priorities” faced by military personnel in the CID. Military police officers are also expected to maintain Army standards of physical fitness, weapon qualification, equipment readiness, and deployability, all of which reduce the time and resources available for investigating criminal cases.

Another proposal, championed by most military police officers, would leave the military police in control of the CID. Rather, it would introduce more personnel command, including civilian case agents and military police captains. This measure, although criticized for failing adequately address the issues within the CID, would take only two to four years to implement and cost approximately $60 million. Either of these proposals could provide the CID with the resources it needs to adequately address criminal cases within the Army.

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