(Justice Department photo)

International Counterterrorism Officials Share Good Practices on Community-Oriented Policing for Countering Violent Extremism

International senior counterterrorism (CT) officials, academic experts, U.S. interagency representatives, and organizations dedicated to policing initiatives and extremism topics met in Washington, DC from Dec. 2 to 4, to openly discuss and address current knowledge on community-oriented policing for countering violent extremism (CVE) to further improve mutual exchanges and better connect multilateral cooperation and national implementation of CT and CVE practices.

The meeting, convened by the U.S. Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) of the Department’s Criminal Division, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism, Hedayah, and the Global Center on Cooperative Security in cooperation with the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), provided the opportunity for senior officials to launch two joint publications of USIP and Hedayah funded by the Bureau of Counterterrorism, and also to further strengthen implementation of CT and CVE good practices and responses to terrorism and violent extremism.

In the meeting, USIP and Hedayah presented the results of two programs, Community-Oriented Policing for CVE Capacity and Positive Policing Messages: Countering Violent Extremism Narratives.  These works, published by Hedayah, represent the efforts of various international partners along with the two organizations in order to establish a framework for policing for CVE and to emphasize the importance of systematic communication by law enforcement with the community.

The meeting also addressed topics of mutual interest, including the challenges of policing certain rural and urban areas, new trends in terrorism, women in policing, police academies, strategic communications by law enforcement as part of a strategy to counter violent extremism, and new methods of responding to potential terrorists, as well as probationary and corrections programs.  In addition, ICITAP presented a toolkit based upon community-oriented policing and standardized incident management systems providing multiple examples of how law enforcement can engage the community to create resilience and prevent terrorism, respond to incidents effectively through pre-planning and communications, and dedicate resources to the community and police recovery after a traumatic incident, in addition to justice solutions for offenders.

“ICITAP is proud to partner with the Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism and other key members of the U.S. and international community to counter threats of violent extremism around the globe,” said Gregory Ducot, the Acting Director of ICITAP.  “This three-day Policing for Countering Violent Extremism Symposium serves as a forum for ICITAP to bring theory to practice, analyze the drivers of violent extremism, and share field-tested tools that have been utilized effectively throughout the world.  By bringing together experts committed to preventing and countering extremism, ICITAP anticipates that this symposium will lead to the assembly of a CVE community of interest, which will guide the interagency to more effectively combat the rise of violent extremism.”

The discussions in the meeting will inform upcoming international meetings on CVE, including one focused on women in policing.

To learn more about ICITAP, visit: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-icitap.

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