JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —
A common misconception is crime doesn’t happen on military bases, but, unfortunately, that is not true.
Some of the most common crimes that occur on base are shoplifting, suspected vehicle damage and traffic violations, according to Airman 1st Class Collin Workman, 902nd Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller. People should be aware of any suspicious activity on base. If someone sees something that doesn’t look right, they should report it.
“Don’t get directly involved,” Workman cautioned. “Call us and monitor the situation from a safe distance. Security Forces is patrolling the base 24/7, so we can be anywhere on base within minutes. Try to gather as many details as you can so we have the best information possible about the situation.”
While JBSA defenders are trained and prepared to respond to emergencies at a moment’s notice, one of their primary goals is to prevent crime before it happens.
One of the many ways security forces deters crime on base is by utilizing the military working dog teams.
“Once a military working dog team, or MWDT, is certified, they are used to augment the regular base patrols,” said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Phillips, 902nd Security Forces Squadron kennel master. “The MWDT serves as the primary means of detecting narcotics or explosives. They are used at the commercial vehicle inspection area, for perimeter patrols and for building checks on base. They are an extremely important part of our security forces team.”
Security forces' presence on base acts as a deterrence to potential criminals, but they also rely on the community to help prevent crime, Phillips said.
“Having a good relationship with the community is essential to effective community policing,” Phillips said. “If you don’t know the needs of the community you’re protecting, how can you really help them when they need it most?
“Without a relationship built on trust and respect you will not have any help from the community and there will be very few instances where someone actually applies the ‘see something, say something’ mentality,” Phillips added.
In order to keep the relationship with the community strong, security forces hosts events on base and almost always has a booth or demonstration at events on base such as, the Back to School Bash, National Night Out or the upcoming Pumpkin Patrol.
While these events are meant to build stronger community relationships within JBSA, they also inform the JBSA community on ways they can help prevent crime from ever happening.
“Always lock your vehicle, secure your valuables and be aware of your surroundings,” Workman said. “Most people walk through parking lots with their heads down staring at their phone, but that makes you a more vulnerable target for criminals.”
Workman also warns to be careful when bringing people on base.
“Be sure you know who you’re bringing on base because you’re responsible for their actions while they’re on the installation,” Workman said. “If they commit a crime or get in trouble while on base, your leadership is notified and you could potentially receive the same punishment as them.”
To anonymously report a crime, members can call JBSA-Fort Sam Houston at 221-2222; JBSA-Lackland at 671-2018 or JBSA-Randolph at 652-2700.
There is also the Emergency Control Center (a joint post with the Fire Department), available at any time of the day every day of the week by calling at 652-5700 and 9-1-1 can always be dialed on or off base in case of an emergency.