Published on: December 21, 2017

When a soldier commits a crime, an investigation is opened by the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division (MPCID). The IDF’s laws apply to active and reserve duty soldiers, as well as contracted civilians. Although the IDF enforces strict discipline, soldiers still make mistakes, and the MPCID is there to make things right.

What’s the workload like for an investigator?

This is a 24/7 position, which requires soldiers to be available and alert around the clock. Events can occur at any given moment, at any point in the country. Even if you’re on the other side of the country, you have to get there,” said Maj. Guy of the MPCID, who evaluates new soldiers and oversees all criminal investigations within the IDF.

How do you interrogate someone?

To better understand the person he’s interrogating, Maj. Guy puts himself in their shoes:

“I have to think what the other side would do, how I’d try to cover myself, what I’d say, what I wouldn’t say, and what was my trigger.”

“It’s harder for me to connect and hold a conversation with a soldier because I could be their father, but I have enough experience to talk to them eye-to-eye.”

Sometimes they work with the Israeli Police, which means a 19-year-old investigator could work side-by-side with a 30-year-old police officer. It’s a dynamic in which everyone learns new tactics from each other.

What are the most difficult cases?

“I think that sex offenses, especially rape cases, are the most difficult because you see the case from beginning to end. You see a person who’s undergone an experience that’s changed their life. When it’s rape, it’s a person who has some kind of scar or burn that changes their character.  It’s some sort of murder of the soul,” explains Maj. Guy.

Sexual misconduct is taken seriously by the IDF. The MPCID is always meeting this crucial issue head on.

How do ethics play a role in your work?

When investigating crimes committed by fellow soldiers, there can be tension, but it’s the MPCID’s job to find out who’s responsible.

“We value integrity; a part of our job is to evaluate ourselves. We’re part of the army, but we still conduct investigations in the most objective manner,” exclaims Maj. Guy.

Like any moral law enforcement, the MPCID believes that a person is innocent until proven guilty. “I approach each investigation with an open mind, knowing the outcome is unexpected. I can’t go into the investigation and say, ‘Okay, I know who’s guilty,’ unless I have some evidence or something that absolutely and uncompromisingly connects them to the event.”