Stories of the Highway Patrol
THE SIXTY-SECOND MILITARY POLICE HIGHWAY PATROL
by James Riching Miles
It was after leaving New York at age sixteen in January 1949, aboard the USS Muir bound for Europe, that I was assigned to the 536th Military Police Svc. Co. and then Det. A, 62nd Military Police Highway Patrol in Augsburg, Germany. It was at a time and place early in my military career that I remember learning from example and taking sound advice from Commanding Officers and First Sergeants - not counselors and mentors.
And then there was the late Brigadier General Norman Schwarzkopf, Deputy
Provost Marshal, USAREUR, one of the planners of the 62nd.
His law enforcement experience dated back to his appointment on July 1,
1921 as the first Superintendent of the State Police of New Jersey by
then Governor Edward's. As Superintendent his first General Order,
on December 5, 1921, outlined ten rules and regulations that seemed to
have carried over to the 62nd, and possibly the design of the
triangular emblem of the 62nd which read "Service -
Prevention - Enforcement."
But, aside from how the emblem's design was influenced, or how it is now viewed, it was then highly respected by all ranks in the military community and the civilian population as well. In Wearing this emblem you became a representative of the 62nd and responsible for enforcement in an equitable manner on the rural highways of the American Zone, Western Germany.
Cpl. J.R. Miles and unknown German Policeman Cpl. J.R. Miles, circa 1950
Shortly before the end of Military Government the 62nd initiated the services of joint patrol with their German counterparts. In the beginning they were, by law, unarmed but worked well with the 62nd. Surprisingly they would work at times with their own individual dogs. When stopping a motorist the dog would sit at the opened rear side window with fixed eyes on the vehicle in question. If needed, with one snap of the officer's fingers, the dog was out of the patrol car and standing next to the officer with fixed eyes on the driver - one could not help but grin.
Members of the 536th MP Company performing Highway Patrol duties prior to transferring to the 62nd
Looking back on my assignments within the 536th and 62nd, I feel fortunate and proud to have served with a fine selection of men and officers. I can only hope that my past experiences within these assignments will add credit to my grandfathers and mother's assignments as Officers within the the Police Department of Detroit, MI.
This story previously appeared in Volume # 4, Issue # 4, July-August 2001 edition of "The White Mice"