League City Police Chief, sergeant to visit Chinese police
League City Police Chief Michael Jez and Sgt. Tamara Spencer will take an
11-day journey to Hangzhou City, China, this may, to learn from Chinese
Houston-area police departments have had plenty of opportunity recently to
host officers from China and other countries, including Poland, thanks to an
exchange program run by Sam Houston State University's Bill Blackwood Law
Enforcement Management Institute. In fact, a delegation of Chinese officers
visited League City just this past January.
Jez and Spencer's visit will center around Zhejiang Police College. Jez says
that all Chinese police officers are required to take four years of
training. "That's a lot of training," he says. "It's equivalent to a college
program. I'll be interesting to see what that looks like."
Despite vast cultural and political differences, Jez says that Chinese
police have been working toward a "more democratic" approach. "I think it
will be insightful to us to see how they do that, and whether or not their
conception of policing and what we think of as a free society is the same as
Chinese and American policing also differ in that China has a national
police force. Chinese officers visiting the United States are often very
surprised at how many local police agencies exist here. "One of the things
that I learned when they were here they were absolutely amazed that as the
police chief, I had as much authority in administering the League City
Police Department as I do," Jez says. "They were just blown away at the kind
of decisions that I could make."
Jez says he expects that the trip will make for some candid discussions on
different approaches to policing. "We're essentially dealing with a
communist country," he says. "It's going to be, from my perspective, pretty
interesting to see how they plan to transition from that context to a more
democratic model of policing."
He also hopes the international exchange will help his officers keep a
broader outlook. "It can teach League City police officers that we live in a
global world... they've got to put it into a larger context," he says.
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