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Vietnamese Police Get Professional Training

Vietnamese Colonels tour the Huntsville Police Department as part of leadership training at LEMIT.

The Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas hosted its first professional development program for high-ranking police officials from the Ministry of Public Security in Vietnam.

Twenty Colonels, representing regional commanders in Vietnam, attended “Leadership and Management Skills Inventory” during a 13-day visit from Oct. 2-13. The program was designed to provide an overview of the roles and responsibilities of organizational leaders through interactive seminars and site visits to criminal justice agencies in Texas.

“This is the first of several professional development courses for Vietnam and hopefully the start of an enduring relationship,” said Dr. David Webb, Assistant Director of LEMIT.

During their stay, the delegation visited several law enforcement and corrections agencies in Texas, including the Fort Bend Independent School District Police, the Huntsville Police Department, Woodlands area patrols and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. They also toured specialized facilities, including the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility, the Sam Houston State University Regional Crime Lab and the Office of Emergency Management for the city of Houston.

Dr. Webb said the Vietnamese officials were impressed with school-based policing and hope to bring the concept back to their country.

“They certainly enjoyed the field trips because it gave them the opportunity to compare how things operate in Vietnam compared to working in an individualized society instead of a socialist society,” Dr. Webb said.

The delegation learned about the American criminal justice system, including police, courts, probation and prison as well as the policing options at the local, state and federal levels. They also explored the dynamics of leadership in the American system, with a focus on community policing, as well as the different components of the penal system, including prison, probation and parole.

Sessions reviewed different models of contemporary police leadership as well as the ethical issues in operating modern day police agencies. The group also discussed the value of criminal justice research in suggesting what works in policing and what can be used to improve police performance. They also learned key decision-making skills, whether in critical incident management or in a “group think” atmosphere.

Several SHSU faculty as well as staff from LEMIT and the Correctional Management of Texas helped present the program, including Drs. David Webb, Willard Oliver, Philip Lyons, Joan Bytheway, Sarah Kerrigan, Bill Wells, Randy Garner as well as Magdalena Denham and Doug Dretke.

The program is part of the International Police Program at LEMIT, which provides opportunities for Texas law enforcement officers to interact professionally with their counterparts from other countries. A series of professional visits and officer exchanges have occurred with China, Korea, Thailand, Italy, Poland, Germany and the United Kingdom.

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