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Back to Archives | Back to November 2012 Contents 

Armenian Police Officers Receive American Training in IACP Pilot Program

By Lesley Milner, Project Coordinator, International Police Education and Training Program, IACP

From left: Lieutenant Chris Marsh, Colonel Tigran Petrosyan, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief John Diamantes, Major Nellik Manandyan, Lieutenant Archie Pollard, and Lieutenant John Naylor
Clockwise from bottom: Deputy Chief Ed Roessler, IACP International Police Education and Training Program Project Coordinator Lesley Milner, Colonel Tigran Petrosyan, IACP Training Division Director Cecelia Rosser, Major Nellik Manadyan, Lieutenant Chris Marsh, Lieutenant John Naylor, and Lieutenant Archie Pollard. Photography by Dwight Bower
From left: Lieutenant Chris Marsh, Maritsa Hovhannisyan, Lieutenant Archie Pollard, Chief (Retired) Larry Saunders, and Colonel Tigran Petrosyan visit the Republic of Armenia Police.
From left: Chief Larry Saunders, interpreter Araik Jraghatspanyan, and Colonel Tigran Petrosyan. Photograph by Maritsa Hovhannisyan, U.S. Embassy.
From left: Dwight Bower, Lieutenant Archie Pollard, Major Nellik Manadyan, Colonel Tigran Petrosyan, Lieutenant Chris Marsh, and Lieutenant Tim Field. The FCPD personnel are holding plaques given to them by the U.S. Department of State. At center, the two Armenian officers are holding certificates given to them by the IACP.

he International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), through funding from the U.S. Department of State International Bureau of Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), Office of Criminal Justice Assistance and Partnership, is in the midst of the pilot rotation of the International Police Education and Training Program (IPET).

IPET aims to increase the capabilities of international senior police officials and police organizations; encourage effective and mutually beneficial relations between U.S. and international police organizations; and provide current and future international police leaders with broad theoretical and practical exposure to state-of-the-art policing concepts, practices, technology, and trends. In addition, the program facilitates the development of professional and personal relationships among international and U.S. police officers to assist in the exchange of information. During the pilot program, participants have the opportunity to work alongside U.S. officers from the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) as well as academics from American University (AU) and subject matter experts from IACP. Participants also observe the interaction of police personnel with the community.

The initial phase of the project concerned training two international police officers in the United States. As a part of this training, the officers developed change proposals for their home agency, which they will begin to implement upon their return. For the pilot program, the IACP and the INL solicited applications from several countries; ultimately, Armenia was selected as the pilot location for this program. The Armenian officers identified their two focus areas as community policing and intelligence-led policing.

Armenians in America

The Armenian officers, Colonel Tigran Petrosyan and Major Nellik Manadyan, arrived in the United States in April. During their first week in the program, they attended IACP’s Leadership in Police OrganizationsSM (LPO) training course along with Lieutenant Archie Pollard from the FCPD. The following week, the Armenian officers began their studies at AU, where they were instructed by Professor Richard Bennett and his associates on the basics of the U.S. government and legal system as well as community policing, intelligence-led policing, and strategic planning.

During the officers’ studies, AU arranged for them to visit the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office in Washington, D.C. This visit coincided with Armenian Recognition Day at the office, and the fellows had the opportunity to meet COPS Director Bernard K. Melekian, who was one of the speakers that day.

After they completed their studies at AU, the Armenian officers began to work with the team from FCPD, specifically Lieutenant Pollard, Deputy Chief Edwin Roessler, Lieutenant Chris Marsh, Lieutenant John Naylor, Lieutenant Timothy Field, and Director of Recruiting and Testing Dwight Bower on a daily basis. While they were with the FCPD, the Armenian officers were able to gain a deeper understanding of the way the Fairfax County government operates in relation to policies and procedures supporting community policing and intelligence-led policing. The FCPD did more work with the officers on strategic planning and police accountability; it also took them to several divisions within the department, including the Information Technology Bureau.

In May, the Armenian officers had another day of LPO instruction—related specifically to the topics of leading change and shaping organizational culture—taught by one of IACP’s LPO master instructors. Then, they attended the 2012 Law Enforcement Information Management Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. There, they listened to several panels and discussions on topics ranging from predictive policing to fighting crime with crime. They both enjoyed the opportunity to see other areas of the United States and gain new insights into different intelligence-led policing practices.

Americans in Armenia

Also in May, the IACP sent a team composed of IACP training division staff; Lieutenant Field; and Larry Saunders, a retired chief from Lakewood, Washington, with extensive experience in foreign police assistance, to Armenia to conduct several meetings with Armenian police officials. During this trip, the team conducted site visits to learn more about the operational environment of the Police of the Republic of Armenia. When the team returned to the United States, the information collected was conveyed back to the other officers, which helped to more accurately focus the practical experiences of the Armenian officers.

After the LEIM conference, the Armenian fellows returned to the Washington, D.C., area and traveled to Ocean City, Maryland. Here, they met with Police Chief Bernadette DiPino to discuss community policing in an area where the population experiences dramatic seasonal increases. After this trip, they returned to their work with the FCPD, where they finalized their short-term change plan. They identified several projects including establishing a citizen advisory council, refocusing their existing school resource officers, and adding more crossing guards. In addition, they will attempt to standardize their report formatting to improve intelligence and data mining.

Plans Going Forward

After the fellows returned to Armenia, they worked with the Police of the Republic of Armenia to gain approval for the plan that they had developed while in the United States. Vladimir Gasparyan, chief of the Police of the Republic of Armenia, has been supportive of the team’s projects and has tasked them with forming a working group to examine the research necessary to achieve the desired outcomes and to identify a specific location within Armenia to conduct their pilot projects.

In August, Lieutenant Pollard, Lieutenant Marsh, and IACP Training Division staff members traveled to Armenia to meet with local police officials regarding the progress of the change proposals. They also had the opportunity to travel to the location selected for the pilot project, Armvair province, and to meet with the police chief of that province, General Aram Zakaryan. Once these meetings had concluded, the lieutenants remained in Armenia for another week and one-half to act as mentors and to assist in furthering the progress of the short-term proposal. The U.S. officers worked on general community policing and intelligence-led policing policies as well as beginning to help Armenian police to develop a standardized report format. They were also joined by Larry Saunders, who assisted not only in the short-term plan but also in developing a more long-range strategy.

At the annual IACP conference in San Diego, California, September 29–October 3, Deputy Chief Roessler, Colonel Petrosyan, Major Manandyan, General Zakaryan, INL Police Advisor Linda Mayberry, and IACP Training Division Director Cecelia Rosser participated in a panel discussing their experiences in the IPET program. The IACP also used this opportunity to host a meeting among the Armenian police, the IACP, the INL, and the FCPD to discuss the progress of the program and the necessary next steps.

In late October through early November, Lieutenant Naylor and Lieutenant Field traveled to Armenia as the final pair of mentors. They worked with the Police of the Republic of Armenia on advancing their community policing initiatives, and will specifically work with them on the school-related programs (SROs, crossing guards, etc.). At the time of publication, Lieutenant Naylor and Lieutenant Field were scheduled to return to Armenia in late October as the final pair of mentors.

This experience has been beneficial for everyone involved and has created lasting friendships between the Armenian and U.S. participants. The IACP would like to thank the FCPD and AU for their partnership on this project, the Police of the Republic of Armenia for being an excellent pilot partner, and the INL for helping to make this all possible.

The IACP is working again with the FCPD and AU, as well as with the Montgomery County Police Department, the Seattle Police Department, George Mason University, and Penn State University to prepare the IPET program for use in other countries. The countries will be determined by the INL, and IACP looks forward to the next phase of the program. ♦

Please cite as:

Lesley Milner, "Armenian Police Officers Receive American Training in IACP Pilot Program," The Police Chief 79 (November 2012): 32–34.



From The Police Chief, vol. LXXIX, no. , November 2012. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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