By Michael W. Robinson, U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service Fellow to the IACP
he First IACP Middle East/North Africa Executive Policing Conference was held simultaneously with the Seventh International MILIPOL Exhibition of Internal State Security, November 17–19, 2008, in Doha, Qatar. Serving as host was Staff Major General Saad Bin Jassim Al-Khulaifi, director general of the Qatar Police Force and the IACP Middle East/North African World Regional Office chair. Representing the IACP was Russell B. Laine, IACP president; Mark A. Marshall, IACP second vice president; Mohamed Abdulaziz Al-Nassr, IACP international vice president; James W. McMahon, IACP deputy executive director/chief of staff; Paul Santiago, director of the IACP’s International Policing Division; and Michael W. Robinson, U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service fellow to the IACP.
|Mohammad Munir Mangal, Afghan deputy minister|
of interior (left), presents IACP president Russell
B. Laine (right) with a plaque in appreciation of
|Left to right: Michael Robinson, NCIS Fellow to|
the IACP; Paul Santiago, director of the IACP
International Policing Division; Lieutenant Colonel
Steven Lynch, U.S. Army, senior U.S. police advisor
to Afghanistan; President Laine; Deputy Minister
Mangal; James McMahon, IACP deputy executive
director/chief of staff, IACP; and Mark Marshall,
IACP second vice president.
The conference theme, “Modern Policing for a Peaceful Society,” incorporated presentations on future trends in forensics, community policing, combating terrorism through the Internet, and drugs in the Middle East. Conference attendees were given access to the MILIPOL exhibition floor, where approximately 260 police, security, and military exhibitors from 37 countries showcased their products and services. Interior ministers from many of the region’s countries attended the exhibition and the opening ceremony. Also in attendance was Frédéric Pechenard, director of the French National Police and keynote speaker at the Second General Assembly of the 115th Annual IACP Conference in San Diego, California, as well as Lieutenant General Mohammad Munir Mangal, the deputy interior minister for security of Afghanistan, who also functions as the national police commissioner of the 82,000-member Afghan National Police. Deputy Minister Mangal is a new active member of the IACP under the auspices of the IACP Foundation’s Global Enrichment Program, which seeks to increase the international membership of the IACP in countries where the association is underrepresented or not currently represented.
The International Policing Division Steering Committee (IPDSC) meeting, chaired by Vice President Al-Nassr, was well attended at the conference. President Laine welcomed the IPDSC and provided opening remarks. The IPDSC discussed regional policing issues facing the agencies of the Middle East/North Africa World Regional Office and heard a briefing by the chairman of the IACP Ad Hoc Committee on International Initiatives, Brigadier General Dana A. Simmons, commander of the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, regarding the development of the IACP’s strategic international initiatives, as well as information about the upcoming IACP international conferences in Taipei, Taiwan (March 29–31), and Tallinn, Estonia (April 26–28). The IPDSC also discussed several international division initiatives such as the IACP Foundation’s Global Enrichment Program, World Regional Office Web sites, and the development of the IACP’s Global Executive Database.
The first IACP conference in the Middle East/North Africa region was a resounding success because of the hard work and tireless effort of the host, Staff Major General Al-Khulaifi, and his staff. Many police executives from countries that have never been exposed to the IACP were able to attend this conference and experience the networking and educational opportunities that have made the IACP the preeminent international organization of police executives. The State of Qatar and the Ministry of Interior provided an exceptional regional conference whose venue was second to none in content and beauty; the next conference in this region will be an amazing opportunity that no one should miss. ■