KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A delegation of five police officials from Armenian police departments was here March 9 to 12 to meet with Kansas City police.
The visit resulted from of a collaborative partnership between Kansas law enforcement institutions, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the Kansas National Guard's State Partnership Program.
The goal is to assist Armenia in its effort to develop a community policing program and exchange ideas on law enforcement reform.
During their visit, the delegation observed a community policing operation in the Midtown Patrol Division.
Kansas law enforcement is assisting the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe by supporting them in expanding their community policing project in Armenia.
The Kansas City operation included many of the tools available to community policing officers such as the Crime Analysis Unit, Neighborhood Crime Prevention Patrol, Sheriff's Department, probation and parole officers and the Narcotics Unit.
The goal of this operation was to develop suspect information regarding individuals involved in criminal activity and to resolve issues that were creating an environment conducive to criminal activity.
While in Kansas, the Armenian delegation visited police departments in Overland Park, Wichita, Lawrence and Park City, as well as the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in Hutchinson.
"We've been partners with Armenia since 2003," said Army Maj. Gen. (Kansas) Lee Tafanelli, adjutant general.
"We've had many good exchanges with both military and civilian partnerships. We've made many friendships with the leaders and people of Armenia. What's key about visits such as this is they can learn from us, but we learn from them, as well.
"We have a number of Kansas Guardsmen who are also law enforcement officers. It is my hope that we can get more of these Citizen-Soldiers involved in this important police initiative."
James Brown is one of those Citizen-Soldiers, or in his case, Citizen-Airmen.
Brown is a chief master sergeant with the Kansas Air National Guard and in April will become the state command chief master sergeant, making him the senior noncommissioned Airman in the Kansas National Guard.
On the civilian side, Brown is a lieutenant colonel in the Kansas City Police Department and was recently appointed assistant chief of the department.
Brown merges his civilian and National Guard duties as law enforcement liaison with the State Partnership Program. Brown knows firsthand the importance of the program's exchange visits, having visited Armenia on several occasions as part of the State Partnership Program.
"My past trips to Armenia have been very educational," said Brown. "I have learned so much during my travels there."
The Republic of Armenia delegation consisted of Col. Karen Mehrabyan, deputy head of the Public Order Department of the Police; Lt. Col. Vladimir Avagimyan, deputy head of Arabkir Police District and advisor to the National Coordinator of CP issues; Maj. Armen Doydoyan, head of the Prevention Unit, Erebuni District Police; Maj. Vardan Hovhannisyan, head of Community Police Unit, Arabkir Police Station and Maj. Hakob Petrosyan, deputy head of Information Analysis, Planning and Supervisions Division, Headquarters, Police of the Republic of Armenia.