International Police Education and Training Program (IPET) Overview
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) implements the International Police Education and Training (IPET) program on behalf of and in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). IPET is an innovative program that provides a platform to increase the capabilities of foreign senior police officials and organizations, encourage mutually beneficial relations between U.S. and foreign police organizations, and expose foreign police leaders to theory and practice in modern, professional policing concepts. IPET fosters the development of principled and competent foreign police leaders, increasing the capacity of their agencies to develop effective, democratic policing standards. In addition, the IPET program facilitates police-to-police exchanges and mentoring opportunities between host nation police officials and U.S. state and municipal law enforcement organizations and academia.
Each IPET program is designed to educate and train foreign police officers in partnership with both a U.S. law enforcement agency and a university. While studying and practicing in the United States, IPET participants develop strategic plans detailing the changes required in their current systems to take back to their home agencies for approval and implementation. The IPET mentoring teams comprised of IACP, INL, U.S. law enforcement, and university subject matter experts conduct follow-up visits to the foreign partner agency, providing technical assistance to the IPET participants and their organizations during the implementation process.
Past and Ongoing IPET Programs
In 2012, Armenia served as an important test case for the viability of the program. As part of that first IPET project, a Major and a Colonel from the Armenian Police Department had 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 the IACP to develop change plans relating to community-based and intelligence-led policing. The Armenian officers began their trip in the United States by studying subjects ranging from the rule of law in democratic societies to strategic planning with AU faculty and staff. After learning policing theories and principles in an academic setting, the officers worked with FCPD where they observed the police interacting with and serving the community. The Armenian officers then returned to Armenia to implement their change plans with follow-up visits and mentoring from the IACP and FCPD.
In 2013, IACP partnered with Morocco’s La Direction Générale de la Sûreté Nationale, or National Police, Pennsylvania State University (PSU), and the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD). The Moroccan officers developed new policies, procedures, and training for evidence collection and crime scene preservation. They participated in both classroom and hands-on learning experiences with PSU and FCPD and returned to Morocco with new policies, implementing them throughout the country.
The third iteration of the IPET program focused on strengthening the ability of Haiti's law enforcement agencies to effectively prevent, investigate, and prosecute crimes committed against marginalized individuals or groups. The IPET participants were two Haitian National Police (HNP) officers who worked alongside U.S. officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Washington, D.C. and the Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) in Miami Beach, Florida to develop a new curriculum which addressed the issue of policing in marginalized communities, including the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. Additionally, the Haitian police officers worked with academics from Johns Hopkins University and subject matter experts from the IACP to create and implement the new curriculum for HNP basic training. So far, the new curriculum has been delivered to more than 1,000 cadets who have since graduated into the force.
The most recent and current iteration of the IPET program is focused on media and community relations in Tunisia. The IACP is working with the Tunisian National Police and National Guard to establish a Media and Community Relations Unit within each organization. The objective is to build and sustain highly visible, proactive units that collaborate with the public. In addition, the fellows are working to strengthen and enhance community relations and increase understanding and cooperation between law enforcement officers and the community. While in the U.S., the Tunisian officers had the opportunity to work alongside the Boston Police Department’s media unit and Northeastern University.
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