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Exchange Program Brings Australian Police Officers to Virginia

By: Ruth Morton Email
By: Ruth Morton Email

April 11, 2013

Local police officers had some backup from thousands of miles away.

Officers from Western Australia spent time with Albemarle County police on Thursday. The visiting officers rode along with County police as part of a Rotary exchange, which gives officers on both continents the opportunity to share ideas.

"It's about best practice. I'd love to be able to get some concept, or a procedure or policy or something like that, take that home and show the bosses, 'hey, look how they're doing it here, I think it's a good idea,' and be able to see that through to implementation. I think that'd be great," said Paul Daly, a police officer in western Australia.

"We've already made some great contacts. A lot of people shared ideas with us that we'll be taking back," said Aaron Biggs, also a police officer in western Australia. "Just simple little things that are common everyday practices over here but are completely foreign to us over home. The sticky floors in front of the [firing] range to capture lead contaminants as they leave the range. That's something that we just don't have and it's a simple, two dollar little thing that's stuck on the floor but it'll make a big difference back home, so there's lots of things we'll certainly be keeping in contact with the boys about. "

Daly said there are more layers to American law enforcement from county to city to university.

A similarity is drugs and alcohol concerns and traffic violations. "People are bad drivers all over the world," joked Biggs.

A district of Rotary in Virginia put together a group study exchange with a district of Rotary in Western Australia.

"They're job is to facilitate opening doors," said Daly of the Rotary organization. "To give us that opportunity to get ourselves somewhere, [that,] if we just visited...by ourselves, we'd probably never achieve."

The officers have been to Manassas. They spend about four or five days in an area. They will be in America through May 7.


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