Turkish Delegation Visits Kent Police
I advised City Council last week that we had an unprecedented visit from the Ministry of the Interior from Turkey. A very high ranking delegation had planned a visit with the Kent State University to review the development of the Turkish police PhD students, and while they were in Kent they requested time with our force. So after visiting in DC with homeland security staff, and before they met with Dr. Lefton (and later the Governor of Ohio), the delegation dropped by the Kent Police station to talk with our officers. There was a great exchange of culture, ideas and police tactics — so good in fact, that they were late leaving because they found their time with Kent so informative. It’s a real credit to Chief Peach and the entire Kent Police department that they have cultivated this international connection and are recognized for such a high level of professionalism wthin their field. It’s a testament to the caliber of talent that we have right here in Kent that people come from across the globe to learn from us.
Russians Invade Kent
Bekchoro Aliiaskarov and Nurgazy Abdrakhmanov of the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan) in Central Asia, have been approved for a ridership program with the Kent Police Department for the next week or two. Both men, having just arrived in the U. S., are police lieutenants in the Kyrgyz National Police and are here as members of the Turkish Institute for Police Studies (TIPS), an extension of the Turkish National Police study abroad program. They have enrolled in the KSU Justice Studies master’s program and will begin studies in the Fall. This is the first opportunity for members of Kyrgyz National Police to observe American policing. We welcome our Kyrgyz guests to the Kent Police Department.
The Kyrgyz Republic became an independent country in 1991, after breaking away from the former Soviet Union. Kyrgyzstan, a country of over 5 million people, is bordered by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and the Republic of China. “Kyrgyzstan” means “Land of forty tribes”, and it’s capital is Bishkek.
Earlier this month the executive director from Amigos was in town from Houston and dropped by my office. Truth be told, I did not know what Amigos was, but I soon found out that little old Kent was responsible for much of the success of this international volunteer organization.
Kent has been a catalyst for the success of Amigos, dating back to its humble beginning some 40 years ago, and to this day Kent has sent more students per capita than any other city in the country. The director told me that she had never been to Kent and with so many kids having gone through the program from Kent she expected it to be a major city — so she was stunned by how small we actually are. To me, that says a lot about Kent’s global perspective, connections and commitment.
Founded in 1965 in Houston, AMIGOS is an international, non-profit organization that provides unparalleled leadership and community service opportunities for young people while concurrently contributing to the well-being of hundreds of communities throughout the Americas. Supported by a strong network of Pan-American chapters, high school and college students from diverse backgrounds work successfully with host communities and partner agencies to address health and education priorities.
AMIGOS Volunteers immerse themselves in the lives of their host communities and truly experience collaborative development work. During its 40-year history, more than 20,000 AMIGOS Volunteers have gained a life-long commitment to community service, while strengthening multicultural understanding and friendships in the Americas.
Though we live in a world of instant satellite communications, we have not learned to live in peace with our neighbors. Our hope is to offer this opportunity to more young people, who as a result, will develop life-long commitments to a world of understanding, brotherhood and peace. This is our greatest product, and it is best demonstrated in the lives of our veteran Volunteers.
–Guy Bevil, Founder of Amigos de las AmÉricas