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Gulf States Symposium Comes to a Close
Nov 6, 2009

Sponsored by the State of Qatar and co-hosted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and the French National Police, the unprecedented three-day Gulf States, European, and North American Law Enforcement Symposium was truly an event of international stature. Participants flew in from all over the world, from Canada to Kuwait, Alameda County to the United Arab Emirates, Mexico to Monaco. Speaking as to why Los Angeles is an ideal location for the event, Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy D. Baca emphasized the city's unique diversity, stating, "Los Angeles contains every ethnic population of the world, and every religion." In fact, for three days, Los Angeles became home to over 66 international law enforcement and government officials, all with extensive experience in municipal, state, or national levels of governance.


The symposium brought together, for the first time, Directors-General, Commissioners, Chief Constables, Police Executives, and Government Officials from over 25 countries and agencies-all in an effort to share policing practices, discuss common problems, and plan for future joint exercises.

The press conference concluding the event featured the Advisor of Qatar's Department of International Cooperation Abdulla Alkuwari, Director of France's International Police Cooperation Department Emile Perez, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Arif Alikhan, LAPD's First Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell, and Sheriff Lee Baca. The panel concluded that due to an increasingly interconnected world, and thus, an increase in the common threats faced by police agencies throughout the world, law enforcement communities must exchange technology, information, and draw on one another's expertise. The panel announced that the symposium will result in joint training exercises where, according to Director Perez, "there would be no teacher or student" - the learning would be mutual. Asked about what was uncovered during the symposium, the panel identified many problems that exist internationally, including the reintegration of terror suspects and gang members into society following incarceration. Sheriff Baca emphasized that although nations often have historically had difficulty trusting each other, fighting crime today is indeed strengthened by diversity.

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