Two sailors become MPs at Lovell Center
By Beth Kramer email@example.com February 1, 2013 6:48PM
MA 2nd Class Joshua Lavine (left) and Lovell FHCC Navy MA (Master at Arms) 1st Class Lamont Ransom. | Mary Waterman, Lovell FHCC Communications~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 3, 2013 2:00AM
NORTH CHICAGO — For the first time in history, two active-duty sailors enrolled and graduated from the Veterans Affairs Police Academy.
Petty Officer 1st Class Lamont Ransom and Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Lavine, are now the first two sailors to serve as military police at the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago.
Their installation is a step in a pilot program that has been planned since October 2010, according to Capt. Jose Acosta, Lovell FHCC deputy director and commanding officer. The pilot program integrates North Chicago’s VA hospital with the Naval Health Clinic at Naval Station Great Lakes.
“This is a one-of-a-kind pilot program. There’s nothing like this anywhere in the country. It’s the merging of two health-care organizations into one,” Acosta said.
The two agencies have different procedures. New rules have been created and that’s where this training came in, Acosta said.
Ransom and Lavine spent eight weeks at the VA Police Academy in Little Rock, Ark. They took classes learning how to use firearms, batons, pepper spray, VA laws and regulations, ground defense recovery, and how to manage suicidal and post-traumatic stress patients.
“It’s an experience. Now more so in Great Lakes and Naval Station, we work primarily hand-in-hand with active military. Now we are intertwined with veterans, as well as civilian workers and staff. That makes it very unique in our approach. It’s a lot different,” Ransom said.
Ransom, 34, is stationed at Great Lakes and resides in Lake Bluff. He grew up in Florida and played football in college. He said he was inspired to join the Navy after he saw a Navy ad on TV.
“I joined to see the world, get more education, and to protect and defend my country and countrymen,” Ransom said.
Ransom and Lavine are military police who are now stationed at the Lovell Center and have been there for about a month. Lavine, 25, resides in Volo and grew up in Oswego.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always wanted to be a police officer. I felt joining the military and serving the country, I’m actually getting the knowledge and using that as a basis to achieve my goal of being a police officer,” Lavine said.
Lavine and Ransom said they got the assignment to serve as MPs partly because they volunteered and partly because it was an assignment.
“It was a little of both. We thought it was a good idea to assist with the care of our military veterans,” Ransom said.
Duty stations change every two to three years, according to Acosta. That means more active-duty sailors will likely follow in Ransom and Lavine’s footsteps and attend the VA Police Academy in the future, he said.
“This is a very dynamic institution. We’re looking at ways to improve our integration and make it seamless for our patients,” said Acosta.