|For previous coverage of NGIC, click here.|
The National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) is a top secret U.S. Army military installation mounted on a hillside off 29N. As such, it is technically federal property, so that if you were to get into a fender bender, for instance, while winding up Boulder’s Road towards the center you could not be faulted for being confused as to who you should call.
“If there’s an accident, they would contact us,” says Lieutenant John Teixeira of the Albemarle County police. Unsurprisingly, NGIC has its own police force (they are currently hiring, in case you’re interested), but have adopted local and state laws when it comes to traffic issues. “Either can handle this,” says Captain Jeffrey Anderson, an NGIC spokesperson, indicating that there is concurrent jurisdiction.
From there, though, it gets a little confusing. Let’s say your car is broken into while you are inside the center. In that case, NGIC’s police—federal employees, every one of them—would take the lead, although they would likely contact county police.
What if somebody breaks into your car at NGIC? Federal officers working for NGIC would lead the investigation, but county police could help out.
“That’s where we get into a gray area,” Teixeira says. “We have a Memo of Understanding with them. Our tactical team works with them on sensitive operations.” For example, if a dignitary visits, then county police would assist with perimeter security, and in the past, the county has also helped handle traffic for special events.
“It’s strange how it’s set up,” admits Teixeira, likening NGIC territory to a private property situation. “Our officers patrol that general area, and they are aware of the sensitivity that goes on up there.”
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