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8888: Police Department promotes cultural Exchange (fwd)

From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

Published Sunday, August 12, 2001

Police department promotes cultural exchange
Station a draw for visitors

In between his work as a community patrol officer and SWAT team member, over 
the past seven months North Miami Beach Officer Nelson Reyes has also become 
an international ambassador of sorts.

In February, Reyes shepherded eight police from


Shanghai, China, on the city's Nautica patrol boat and showed them Biscayne 
Bay. In May, Reyes traveled with officer Tracy Webster to Zurich, 
Switzerland, for a month-long officer exchange.
And on Tuesday, Reyes surprised visiting officers from Port-au-Prince, 
Haiti, during a tour of the station with the Creole greeting, ``Sak pasť.''

Though relatively small -- the North Miami Beach department employs 105 
sworn officers and 85 civilians -- it is a destination for visiting police 

Its police chief, William Berger, will become the next president of the 
International Association of Chiefs of Police and he has infused a belief in 
the value of cultural exchange. The department has hosted delegations from 
the Bahamas, England, Russia, Brazil, Germany -- even a nuclear terrorism 
squad from Sweden.

``Bringing in different cultures adds a new dimension to our police work,'' 
assistant chief Linda Loizzo said. ``We show them the innovative things 
we're doing and tell them what our obstacles are. And they provide new 
training opportunities for us.''

The eight-person delegation from Haiti included six supervisors from the 
Police Nationale D'Haiti, a government spokesman and a Haitian press 

They came to Miami to learn about community-oriented policing and victim 
advocacy. They chose North Miami Beach because its department was one of 
first to commit to community policing -- the department participated in a 
community-policing exchange with Seattle in the early 1980s.

The group also toured the Miami-Dade County Jail, met with Miami Police 
Chief Raul Martinez and went on a ride-along with police in North Miami, a 
city that in May voted in a majority Haitian-American City Council.

Herald staff writer Gariot Louisna contributed to this report.

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