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Coppell police chief spends 10 days in China
FROM STAFF REPORTS
Coppell Police Chief Mac Tristan just returned from a 10-day visit to China as part of a seven-member delegation of police executives from Texas who were invited to be special guests of the Chinese National Police.
The trip was sponsored by Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Huntsville and the Zhejiang Police College in Hangzhou City, China.
The Zhejiang Police College and SHSU have been engaged in a student exchange program for the last six years. Recently, both universities started a Professional Police Exchange program where Chinese Police officials visit Texas and a delegation of Texas police executives visit China.
This was only the second delegation from Texas to visit China. Tristan was the only North Texas police official in the delegation. The other five chiefs were from the Houston area. The delegation was led by Dr. William Wells, SHSU faculty and criminal justice researcher.
Dr. Rita Watkins, executive director of SHSU’s Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas, said the delegates chosen represented Texas law enforcement and the United States as ambassadors of best practices and concepts in crime prevention, deterrence, and education.
The trip provided an opportunity for Texas law enforcement to be exposed to international perspectives on policing, comparative criminal justice philosophies, dialogue on universal crime trends and emergency issues as well as a unique regional cultural differences in policing.
During their stay, the Texas delegation participated in lectures by the faculty of the Zhejiang Police College, visits to several different police departments and command centers in the Zhejiang Province, joint meetings with high ranking Chinese police executives as well as a visit to a Chinese prison/detention facility.
“It was an incredible opportunity to meet and work with the Chinese police,” Tristan said. “I was surprised to learn we have a great deal in common in many aspects of policing. They believe strongly in community policing and crime analysis to address crime trends, which is the cornerstone and mission of the Coppell Police Department.”
He added, “Unlike in the United States, the Chinese have a national police force. The police wear the same uniform regardless of where they are in China. They are easily recognizable and ready to serve. The majority of the Chinese police are unarmed, although they do have a special armed unit.”
Tristan returned with many stories about his experiences during his China visit. He summarized by saying, “The Chinese police officials, as well as the Chinese people, were incredibly hospitable. Not only were they showcasing their policing efforts, but they were also truly eager to hear our thoughts, learn from us and engage in dialogue about policing concepts.”
He added, “The Chinese treated us with a great deal of respect and formality. It was truly a humbling experience for all of us. It was an adventure I will never forget.”
The next Chinese delegation to visit Texas will be in 2013, and while their previous visits have mainly been in the Houston area, Tristan hopes to have them visit Coppell and the DFW area as well.
While in China, the Texas delegation were guests of the Zhejiang Police College where they spent the majority of their time. The trip which took place from Sept. 22 through Oct. 2, was funded by Sam Houston State University and the Zhejiang Police College.