FORT DRUM, NY — Taking care of Soldiers and developing unit readiness is a responsibility that leaders are serious about across the Army. It doesn’t stop at the end of the duty day, nor is it limited to within the installation’s gates.
The Fort Drum Provost Marshal Office’s Courtesy Patrol (CP) program is one way officers and enlisted leaders can connect with their troops, while ensuring their safety and well-being.
Maj. Lindsey Trombley, 10th Mountain Division (LI) deputy provost marshal, said that the purpose of the program is to promote a positive community presence while influencing Soldiers to make good decisions while off duty and off post.
“Essentially, the courtesy patrols will go to establishments frequented by Soldiers in order to enforce standards and good discipline, and to build trust in the community,” she said.
The first patrol will go out this weekend, but Trombley said the program will fully launch in January with two teams of two – one senior enlisted Soldier and an officer. Each team will visit a set of pre-determined establishments, where they will speak with the owners or managers, and check in with any Soldiers.
“They’ll ask them if they’re having a good weekend, is everyone OK, and what is their plan to get home at the end of the night,” Trombley said. “It’s not about trying to catch Soldiers doing something wrong or encroaching in their personal space. We just want to make sure that they are safe, they have a plan and that they’re not set up for failure.”
CP representatives will provide establishment managers with contact information if they have any questions. They also carry calling cards with phone numbers for local ride services, unit staff duty desks and other support services.
“I think it will make a difference when Soldiers see that leadership presence out in the community and that next level of care,” Trombley said. “It shows them that even though the duty day is over, their leadership are taking extra steps to looking out for their Soldiers.”
Fort Drum PMO had managed the program a few years ago, but division deployments and then the pandemic made it difficult to sustain.
Local law enforcement representatives and community leaders discussed the Courtesy Patrol program with Fort Drum officials during the Fort Drum Law Enforcement Partnership Symposium in October. The annual conference is an opportunity for civilian and military leaders to discuss ways to strengthen communication between agencies, crime prevention and trends in the communities.
“They were all for it, and they are excited to have our presence back in the community,” Trombley said. “This is just another way we can offer support and build relationships in the community.”
Fort Drum Press Release