Isla Vista Foot Patrol Lieutenant Ray Vuillemainroy recently spent three weeks in Egypt teaching “Community Policing” to the Egyptian National Police.
The Emergence Group — an organization that employs various legal and law enforcement experts to provide country-specific Justice Sector Reform and Democratic Policing programs throughout the world — contacted Vuillemainroy in November and asked him to work as a consultant. Vuillemainroy co-taught three five-day classes from Jan. 27 to Feb. 17 in Cairo for mid-management level officers serving in various locations throughout the country.
According to Vuillemainroy, The Emergence Group prepared the classes under contract with the U.S. State Dept.
“As you are aware, Egypt is in the process of forming their new government and the Egyptian National Police have shown an interest in ‘Community-oriented Policing,’” Vuillemainroy said. “They are receptive to developing community partnerships to improve relations, identify issues and concerns and assist with their problem solving processes.”
Vuillemainroy said similarities between personal experiences in I.V. — such as the large crowds during Halloween and the recent fire bombings on the IVFP station — and the Egyptian law enforcements’ encounters helped establish a common ground to illustrate the “community policing” concepts.
“I talked about our ‘Stop Burglaries in I.V.’ campaign and the outstanding support the foot patrol received from the community,” Vuillemainroy said. “I explained how we could not do it alone and how we needed the community’s support to be successful.”
The classes emphasized using foot patrols and personally interacting with citizens to foster closer relationships between the police and local communities. The EG provided a full-time translator to facilitate discussion between the class instructors and Egyptian police officers.
The Egyptian police were receptive toward the instructors’ lessons, according to Vuillemainroy.
“The officers in class were impressed by this support and asked many questions as they displayed a strong desire to improve police-community relations in their areas,” Vuillemainroy said.
The officers addressed issues such as merchant and downtown area robberies as well as automobile theft.
Vuillemainroy said the classrooms discussed implementing extra foot patrols, meeting with the merchants and developing citizen watch groups, among other ideas.
“I was impressed by their enthusiasm and creativity,” Vuillemainroy said. “They really put their heads together and developed some innovative ‘Community-oriented Policing’ solutions to the real-life problems posed in class. They really caught on fast and ran with the material.”
The trip provided a unique opportunity to interact and share knowledge with members from another country, Vuillemainroy said.