LPD’s Major Strickland participates in International Law Enforcement Exchange program

Published 9:30 am Saturday, June 24, 2023

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Major Dale Strickland of the LaGrange Police Department has returned from Israel after an intensive two-week public safety leadership training with the country’s top police executives.

Strickland was part of a 20-member delegation that partnered with the Israel Police for the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange’s (GILEE) 30th annual peer-to-peer executive training program.

GILEE is a research center within Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. It enhances public safety by nurturing partnerships within and across public law enforcement agencies and the private sector. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, GILEE’s focus on the protection of civil and human rights and its development of executive leadership exemplifies the core mission of the school.

“The program was for law enforcement and executive level law enforcement personnel to have the opportunity to see how Israel’s national police organization runs and some of the challenges that they have as being one of the only democratic societies in the Middle East,” Strickland said.

“We had the opportunity to see what their challenges were in policing and how they work to meet those challenges. A lot of what they face in policing is very similar to what we face.”

Strickland said some of the key lessons about community building and using technologies are things he hopes to bring back to the LPD.

“One of the things that I took away was the amount of time that they spend working with the public to gain trust and build relationships. They have a number of different cultures and religions that live in a relatively small area. For them to be understanding of the cultures and build relationships with them so that they can effectively police those individuals is key. I find that to be something that I think we do in the United States and here locally but also see the importance of building those relationships,” Strickland said.

He said their use of technology made a positive impression on him.

“How they can work heavily populated areas using camera systems, I think that’s very important,” Strickland said. “A lot of times, folks that are reluctant to talk to police are in fear of retaliation from members of the community that they live in. They have more cameras available to them than we do, and I was able to see how they’re using those camera systems recordings to assist them in getting convictions in court and criminal acts that occur without necessarily having to have witnesses that testify in court.”

Strickland said it was an honor to participate in the program.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity that the city of LaGrange provided in allowing me to participate in this program. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I was proud to represent the LPD there and coordinate and answer any questions that they had when communicating with members of the Israeli Police Department,” Strickland said.

According to the press release, nearly 1,250 law enforcement executives from the U.S. and countries around the world have graduated from GILEE peer-to-peer exchange programs during its 32 years. Almost 43,000 public safety, homeland security and police executives have attended GILEE-led special briefings, seminars, workshops, training sessions and conferences featuring experts on issues related to homeland security, public safety, community policing and law enforcement.