The Home Office

Scott Neal posted an entry yesterday that talked about his visit to the new Home Office in the U.K.

The British Home Office is located in a new facility, according to Scott and well secured.

Here is a picture of Scott with Mike Alderson holding an Eden Prairie Police Department insignia patch. According to Scott, Mike is with the Citizen Focused Policing Team of the Police Reform Unit of The Home Office. Mr. Alderson is well known for his work in community-policy initiatives both in the UK as well as the US.

To help balance out Mr. Alderson’s Minnesota police patch collection I’ll be sending Mr. Alderson a Northfield Police Department patch tomorrow.

My experience has been that most European countries are heavily involved in community policing initiatives. When I visited Germany several years ago, I was impressed with the community policing initiatives found there. Prior to coming to Northfield, I had helped to host high ranking government officials from Moldova. The purpose of their trip to the U.S. was to learn about new policing initiatives that involved community participation.

The delegation from Moldova brought an interpreter who spoke Russian as that was their second language. I happened to have an officer, Doug Cline, who was fluent in Russian, working in my division at the time so I invited him to sit in on our discussions. I remember how great I thought it was to be sitting in the Police Department Office in Grand Island, Nebraska at the time, having my thoughts translated by one of our officers to a group of police officers who had traveled half-way around the world to visit with us.

These days, the conversations are common via the Internet, discussion groups and Weblogs.

Policing is a world-class occupation. It takes dedication and commitment as well as a good educational background and a lot of common sense to be successful. I’m optimistic that my associates around the world are embracing the technology that allows us to communicate and share ideas on a daily basis. It can only help benefit our communities as we learn new ideas and concepts that will help us partner with our respective communities to keep our friends, families and neighbors safe.

About Gary Smith

Chief Smith has served over 31 years in the criminal justice field. He is currently a consultant assisting public and private organizations better establish community goals and ethical conduct with the members of their organizations. Chief Smith serves as a facilitator, lecturer, professor and other capacities both inside and outside the criminal justice field.
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