An Invitation to Abu Dhabi

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Last month I was invited to come to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirites to talk about my book, Arrested Development, to the top commanders of the city’s police. We are still working on the details.

You may wonder as I did, how could anything I said about improving American police apply to police in Abu Dhabi? I decided to find out as much as I could about the city and the U.A.E. in preparation for my visit.

Abu Dhabi has a population of about two million with many guest workers in residence. The city is part of a nation that is only 40 years old and has built one of the tallest buildings in the world along with developing a most beautiful city.

Doing some Internet research, it appears to me that the police department not only has a strong understanding of community oriented policing but also quality improvement. See for yourself.

Vision and Mission of the Abu Dhabi Police

  •  [Provide] high quality police services to citizens, residents of the emirate, and its visitors.
  • [Work] for a safe community, achievement of stability, reduction of crime rates. Contribution to implementation of justice in a manner that promotes the confidence of the public in police.

Values of the Abu Dhabi Police

  • Integrity and honesty: We will maintain the highest levels of integrity and honesty at all times, and will preserve human rights.
  • Justice: We will provide fair and tactful services to all segments of society.
  • Recognizing achievements: We appreciate and evaluate achievements made by individuals and by the community, by encouraging team spirit and motivating initiatives at all levels.
  • Effective Communication: We believe that effective communication with the public and private sectors is of vital importance to accomplish our coveted goals.
  • Excellence: We will make sure to pursue excellence in all our work and ensure that our activities are assessed effectively and efficiently

The police department was organized in 1957. They appear to have strong ties and a relationship with police in the United Kingdom and have grown to the point where they provide police services to a city of two million residents and guest workers.

Their vision statement, mission and driving values seem to certainly fit into how I see police operating in our society.

In further research, I found this about their top commander, His Highness Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has led the department since 1995.

He has cast a bold vision of what it means to be a police officer and has sculptured a new police philosophy that ventures beyond the traditional. He believes a direct role exists for the police in contributing to a harmonious society and envisions a community without the sense of fear. Police are encouraged to contribute to improving the quality of life in the community as they support equality, social welfare, cultural understanding, unity, and a non-violent life-style. Their actions are to be characterized by respect, justice and goodwill from citizens. [From Wikipedia]

But of course the challenge to any service organization like the police is to be able to continuously improve that which they do and sustain those improvements while maintaining  trust and support from those whom they serve.  Difficult, yes, but not impossible.

Stay tuned for more to come on what I learn when I get to Abu Dhabi.

[To see more on the Abu Dhabi police CLICK HERE.]

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Downtown Abu Dhabi, UAE