Two New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers arrived in Pakistan on October 25 for an eight-day visit funded by the U.S. government to exchange knowledge with Pakistani law enforcement professionals about concrete ways to foster positive and productive relations between the police and the communities they serve.
Lieutenant Adeel Rana and Detective Elvis Vukelj from NYPD’s Community Affairs Bureau laid a wreath yesterday at the Pakistan National Police Martyrs’ Memorial and spoke at an International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program course sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.
“As a Pakistani-American, I am excited to be back in Pakistan and to meet with local police officers to share ideas and experiences relating to community policing,” said Rana, who is also the president of the Muslim Officers Society. “Interactive community participation helps all of us address crime proactively.”
During the remainder of their time in Pakistan, Rana and Vukelj will meet with other law enforcement counterparts and interact with youth through discussions and sports.
“I have found that sports are a valuable tool for police to break down barriers and develop lasting ties with their communities,” Vukelj said. “I look forward to playing cricket alongside Pakistani police officers and students later this week.”
The U.S. government invests more than $30 million each year in grant programs that promote cultural exchange between the United States and Pakistan through sports, visual and performing arts, women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship, and a variety of other areas. Additionally, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has a long history of cooperation with Pakistani police. Since 2002, INL has provided assistance to police in all four of Pakistan’s provinces and Islamabad; levies in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA); and federal law enforcement organizations. INL projects have focused on areas such as developing training curricula, enhancing the capacity of female officers, and building operational capabilities.