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Consider this as something I’m trying to figure out. Let’s say that I want to write a mystery short story, possibly with the intent of submitting it later to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine or Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Lets say that said short story wants to focus on a murder that happens on base by naval personnel. I’m trying to figure out who are the primary investigators, military police or the Naval Criminal Investigative Service? Security Officers are uniformed members of the armed services, whereas the NCIS are civilians with arresting authority — like the FBI or ATF, but with jurisdiction solely over the navy and marine corps.

According to a NCIS faq:

NCIS is a primarily civilian agency that reports directly to the Secretary of the Navy, who is a civilian appointed by the President, and is thus outside both the Navy and Marine Corps chain of command. However, NCIS works closely with Marine Corps and Navy personnel serving as military police and naval security forces, as well as with civilians who serve as law enforcement officers at some naval installations. In fact, some NCIS special agents serve as Regional Investigative Coordinators (RICs) advising on and overseeing investigations conducted by these personnel. In general, NCIS handles major felony cases while military police and naval security handle misdemeanors and lower level felony cases deferred by NCIS.

So I guess my answer lay above. Murder is a serious felony, and so investigating an alleged act would fall into NCIS territory, where as Military Police tickets speeders and handles petty theft at the Navy Exchange.

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