Friday, 10 June 2011

Kuwaiti Women Make it in Police Force

CTTA Pursuing Contracts in Middle East

There is a noticeable increase in the number of women joining the police training academy as Kuwaiti women are constantly encouraged to participate in all areas of society, according to women Lieutenants at the Support Authority Institute of the Saad Al-Abdullah Academy for Security Sciences.

The Arab Times spoke exclusively with four Lieutenants at the support institute of the academy - Head of the Department of Training Affairs, First Lieutenant Anisa Musfer Abdulla, Lieutenant in the Department of Learning and Examination Affairs, Hadeel Ebrahim Karam, Lieutenant in the Department of Learning, Training and Library Aids, Dalal Mohamed Mosa, and current Police Training Consultant at the academy, Lieutenant Mona Ali Abdul Rahim.

The Lieutenants explained the role of policewomen in Kuwait, the courses taken at the academy and the challenges women face in the police, where only men were allowed to participate in since the establishment of the State of Kuwait.
From left: First Lieutenant Anisa Musfer Abdulla, Lieutenant Hadeel Ebrahim Karam and Lieutenant Dalal Mohammed Mosa.

The first batch of female cadets in Kuwait graduated in March 25, 2009 in an elaborate ceremony attended by His Highness the Amir and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Vice President of the National Guards Corps, Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, as well as His Highness the Prime Minister, Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, among other senior statesmen.

Last year the country has witnessed a landmark parliamentary election as well where four women competed fiercely with their male counterparts and were enthusiastically elected by their districts. According to the Lieutenants, the Kuwaiti police is just another sector an increasing number of women want to prove themselves in, that they are capable and just as good as men in serving in the police force.

Q: When did the training of women for the police force begin?

Lieutenant Mona: The Ministry of Interior of Kuwait has requested the assistance of the Kingdom of Bahrain in training the women for the police force here since Bahrain is the one of the first in the Gulf region to accept women in the police force since the 1970s. So far we have 800 policewomen in Bahrain. Although we started early, at the beginning there wasn’t much acceptance by the community and only a few women joined the first year of training. In Kuwait, however we have witnessed tremendous enthusiasm by women in the police force and people applying to the academy has noticeably increased this year. In Bahrain, we are just starting to train women in patrolling the field and at the current rate women are developing in the police force, they are not far behind this progress.

Lieutenant Dalal: People keep asking why it has taken so long for women to join the police force. They should know that for a long time His Highness the Amir was considering this development; however he was just studying the methods and approach of other Middle Eastern countries and weighing the pros and cons the decision may have on Kuwait. Our cultural and Islamic traditions say that who is supposed to talk to women, hear her problems or touch her is another woman. So any reason why women should not join the police force is not valid or scientific.

The decision for women to join was made in 2001 although they started training us in 2008 after finalizing all the documents and allocating our training facility. Our titles were different from what we have now. We were given the titles such as ‘security supervisor’ and ‘security assistant’, which we were not happy about. Nevertheless, due to the constant support of His Highness the Amir and His Highness the Prime Minister, our titles became exactly like those of male graduates upon graduation. Since then we’ve acquired equal status with men.

Even though all the other policewomen training academies in the Middle East have started earlier than Kuwait, they began slowly and modestly. Even though Kuwait started training women for the police force late, we have developed much quicker, in only a few years.

First Lieutenant Anisa: I’ve been fortunate enough to provide training in Kuwait from institute’s inception in 2008-2009. Our training of policewomen in the Kingdom of Bahrain began in 1970. We brought to Kuwait our experiences and what we are witnessing now is not any different from Bahrain. In 2009, we’ve graduated 27 policewomen - 16 lieutenants, 8 deputy police officers and 3 sergeants. Some of the work as trainers in the academy and a lot work in airport security and the woman’s prison.

Currently, there are approximately 48 women in training who are expected to graduate this year. Policewomen are available in most departments belonging to the Ministry of Interior, such as the criminal investigation unit, airport security, forensics and the immigration and passport departments of the airport. They also participate in any political events, provide personal security and administer the woman’s prison. As like their male counterparts, policewomen are on call 24 hours and are expected to follow orders on the spot.

Q: How would you describe Kuwaiti policewomen?
First Lieutenant Anisa: When we started in Bahrain only a few women were willing to join the police force, however, the women here rushed to register when the program began. The women in Kuwait are really enthusiastic to participate in every field available in their country. We have found them to be strong-willed and determined and they have proved themselves able to handle any situation.
Police officers have to have certain personality and physical traits to be able to handle their job positions. The women we accept at the Academy must pass certain tests provided by the Ministry to determine mental health and physical capabilities. They also must be well reputed in the community and with a clear criminal record. The women trainees take exactly the same courses of self-defense and effective communication male police trainees and they get trained on the same weapons.

In February CTTA announced that preliminary talks were underway with Kuwait and Qatar regarding a project to train thousands of police officers.

The Canadian Tactical Training Academy (CTTA) is a for-profit educational institution devoted to worldwide training of peace and law enforcement officers, as well as all other professionals involved in the fields of security, investigation, protection and the maintenance of order.

The Academy also provides tailored security and safety oriented civilian training at both the individual and corporate levels.

CTTA Homepage

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

No stripping, no pat-downs: Could this be the airport checkpoint of the future?

CTTBy Jane Engle 
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer 
June 7, 2011 

"Passengers should be able to get from curb to boarding gate with dignity. That means without stopping, stripping or unpacking, and certainly not groping." 

With that declaration, Giovanni Bisignani, director general of the International Air Transport Assn., unveiled a mock-up of an airport "Checkpoint of the Future" Tuesday at the annual meeting of the worldwide airline organization in Singapore. 

The sleek, high-tech mock-up, in the works for more than a year, builds on the concept of airport screening that focuses on higher-risk passengers -- a vision recently endorsed also by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Travel Assn. 

The IATA proposal would funnel fliers through one of three checkpoint lanes based on their perceived security risk. Many fliers might be able to walk quickly through a tunnel while being automatically screened for explosives, metal and other threats. They would not need to remove clothing or unpack their bags for inspection. 

The three lanes would be "known traveler," "normal" and "enhanced" security. Travelers, after presenting a passport or other document with a "biometric identifier," would be assigned to a lane based on "a risk assessment conducted by the government before the passenger arrives at the airport," an IATA news release said. 

To access the fastest lane, "known traveler," you would have to register and submit to a government background check. You would probably also pay a fee to participate, Kenneth Dunlap, IATA's global director of security and travel facilitation, said in a recent interview. 

If this sounds like the Registered Traveler program, which the TSA tested and abandoned a few years back, you're not far off. In that program, travelers were typically charged around $100 to undergo a background check and get access to shorter checkpoint lines, where they underwent basically the same screening as other passengers. 

But in a recent interview, Dunlap said that under the IATA proposal, vetted travelers would be screened differently than others. For instance, although screened for explosives and metal, they might not have to remove coats or belts. He said he figured about 30% of fliers might opt for this "known traveler" process. 

A much smaller number of travelers might be assigned to the "enhanced" lane, where they would receive a secondary screening. These would be people viewed as higher risk based on computerized background checks or suspicious behaviors, he said. Some people might also be randomly assigned to that lane. 

Most travelers, Dunlap said, would go to the "normal" lane. They would move faster, in part, because more than 30% of travelers would be assigned to other lanes. 

Don't expect the new checkpoint system to pop up any time soon. It would require significant design changes, and the technology for fully automated screening is not there yet. 

But in a news release, IATA's Bisignani said: "We have the ability to move to the biometric scanning and three-lane concept right now. And while some of the technology still needs to be developed ... we could see major changes in two or three years' time.” 

The Canadian Tactical training Academy (CTTA) is a for-profit educational institution devoted to worldwide training of peace and law enforcement officers, as well as all other professionals involved in the fields of security, investigation, protection and the maintenance of order. 

The Academy also provides tailored security and safety oriented civilian training at both the individual and corporate levels. 

CTTA courses include Counter-Terrorism seminars, Airport and Airline Security, Physical Security and Protection of Infrastructure, among others. 

CTTA Homepage

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

LAPD seeks tighter regulations on toy guns

Chief Charlie Beck urges law requiring BB guns to be brightly colored to avoid confusion with authentic firearms. 

By Sam Allen, Los Angeles Times 

June 7, 2011 
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck is proposing that the city require BB-gun replicas of actual firearms to be brightly colored so that police officers don't mistake them for real weapons. 

The proposal, which the Los Angeles Police Commission will consider Tuesday, comes after two shootings involving officers and people with replica weapons, including one in which a teenager was wounded. Under the new rule, all such toys sold inLos Angeles would have the "entire exterior surface of the device white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink or bright purple." 

Guns would also be allowed if they were "constructed of transparent or translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of the device's complete contents." 

"This change will not ban such devices but will aid law enforcement in differentiating real firearms from BB devices and imitation firearms. It will also prevent the sales and possession of BB devices and imitation firearms in the city of Los Angeles that are similar in size and appearance to actual firearms," Beck wrote in a memo. 

The guns come in various models that closely resemble real weapons such as Berettas, shotguns and pistols. Law enforcement experts say the toys can easily be mistaken for the real thing, especially in a situation in which an officer must react quickly and decisively. 

On Dec. 16, three boys were playing with the guns on North Verdugo Road in Glassell Park when two LAPD officers stopped to investigate. An officer fired at one of the boys, believing the boy's gun was a real weapon, according to an LAPD news release. The boy was shot in the torso and underwent surgery. 

Capt. David Lindsay, who headed the Northeast Division when the shooting occurred, said the division had faced several incidents in recent months involving toy guns, and noted that they have been taken from gang members and robbery suspects. 

"It's a consistent issue for us. I saw the guns the kids had that night from a distance of 3 or 4 feet; when you first look at them, they look identical to a particular style of handgun, a Beretta 92F," Lindsay said in an interview earlier this year. He has since been transferred to a different position. 

Los Angeles City Councilman Greig Smith said the December incident alarmed him and his staff because a local activist warned them about the toy guns several months earlier. 

Les Salay, a Vietnam veteran, firearm instructor and father of three, had contacted Smith and presented him photographs of Airsoft guns that his daughter had purchased from ice cream trucks outside two schools near his family's Chatsworth home. 

Salay said he had asked his daughter Ashley, 12, to try to purchase the guns because he wanted to see if vendors would sell them to her. She was able to buy several guns from the ice cream trucks, he said, two of which had warnings on them that they were intended for ages 18 and older. 

"At an ice cream truck, there is no parent who can say 'no, no, no, you can't have that,' " said Salay, who also teaches gun safety to Boy Scouts. "To sell a 12-year-old girl a gun that looks like a real gun is a tragedy waiting to happen. And now it has happened." 

The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance banning the sale of toy guns from ice cream trucks in 2005, but several distributors interviewed by The Times said some trucks still carry the guns. 

"It's a few renegade trucks that do it," said Fred Karamati, owner of Avalon Ice Cream, a distributor in Los Angeles. He said that he no longer sells the guns to truck operators, but that they are widely available at toy wholesalers throughout the city. 

Smith, who is also an LAPD reserve officer, said the guns pose a problem for police because officers typically have only seconds to react in a situation in which they believe a subject is armed. He considered a citywide ban of the replica weapons earlier this year. 

"If you see something that just looks like a gun, you're going to shoot," Smith said after the Glassell Park shooting. "That's what you're trained to do. Your mind doesn't have enough time to process whether it's a real gun or a fake gun." 

His office said Monday that he supported Beck's proposal. 

The Canadian Tactical Training Academy (CTTA) is a for-profit educational organization devoted to worldwide training of peace and law enforcement officers, as well as all other professionals involved in the fields of security, investigation, protection and the maintenance of order. 

The Academy also provides tailored security and safety oriented civilian training at both the individual and corporate levels.