In the movie Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Jack Reacher has a sheriff arrested by military police because this sheriff is possibly involved human trafficking.

Can military police arrest a civilian on US soil? I thought MPs were only allowed to operate within military personnel.

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – BCdotWEB Mar 2 '19 at 15:04
  • I'm sure MPs can arrest anyone, solider or civilian, who commits a crime within a military reservation, if that person is within a military reservation at the time of arrest. I don't know if MPs have any greater arrest powers than that. – M. A. Golding Mar 2 '19 at 18:43

Off base, military police have the authority to arrest only soldiers. On a military reservation or base, military police have jurisdiction and can arrest anyone, including civilians.

Movies like Presidio or Jack Reacher that show the MPs arresting civilians outside of a military reservation are not realistic. In such situations it is the policy of the military police to coordinate with civilian police to make such arrests.

  • It should be noted that anyone can carry out an arrest if the have reason to believe a felony has been carried out. If local law enforcement was corrupt then the MPs were carrying out a Citizens Arrest and the rest can be argued in court. – Paulie_D Mar 4 '19 at 13:50
  • The term "soldiers" is often considered to refer to only members of the army. Can MP from one branch arrest members of another branch? – Acccumulation Mar 4 '19 at 22:32

No, only on military soil unless they have changed the laws in the last 10 years.

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