PH International

Visit of Armenian Juvenile Police Officers to Tbilisi

Armenia | Armenia Community Action and Linkages for Legal Socialization | 17 Dec 2014

Throughout December 3-6, 2014, a group of 10 Armenian police officers working with juveniles, accompanied by two PH staff, traveled to Tbilisi, Georgia, to participate in a Georgia based exchange for School Resource officers (SROs) organized by PH International within the INL-funded Armenia Community Actions and Linkages for Legal Socialization (AM CALLS) program. The Armenian group spent two productive days in Tbilisi, visiting different crime prevention institutions and observing legal socialization lessons, developed and conducted at schools by the Georgian police officers and teachers,within the Georgian CALLS program.

The first visit was to the Police Academy where the staff had prepared a series of presentations highlighting activities of different departments and divisions within the Academy. Representatives from Neighborhood Police Training Department, Patrol Police Faculty, and Boarder Police Faculty covered topics such as interviewing juvenile offenders, community policing and preventive measures implemented by the Police, focusing on human rights, juvenile justice issues etc. The Georgian colleagues answered the questions raised by the Armenian police officers. The theoretical part of the visit was followed by the practical part when the police officers were exposed to the Tactical training unit and Virtual Shooting Range. This was an interesting hands-on experience for the Armenian police officers who once again practiced their skills in shooting and displayed their emergency response ability in challenging situations. By the end of the visit the Georgian colleagues organized a tour within the Academy where the Armenians got familiarized with the facilities, including the Imitated Border Crossing Point.

The next visit was to the recently opened Office of Resource Officers of Educational Institutions (Institute of Mandaturs) at the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia. The position of mandaturs (or civil patrols), was introduced in public schools to prevent delinquency and misbehavior in educational institutions. The visit was very informative and the participants had a chance to learn about mandaturs’ function at schools, ask questions on their job responsibilities, as well as share their own experience as SROs.

The next day the Armenian participants visited two public schools and observed lessons conducted by police officers and teachers. They also had a meeting with the school directors and discussed the successes and challenges of school partnership with the police.

The visit to Georgia concluded with the visit to the Division of Neighborhood Police at the Police Main Office. During the question-answer session both the Armenian and Georgian colleagues had a chance to learn about strengths and challenges of the work with juveniles in their respective countries and share each other’s best practices.

The participants returned to Armenia full of impressions and ideas to be shared with their Armenian colleagues. The trip to Georgia was not only a great professional experience for the Armenian juvenile police officers, but also a great cultural exchange between the two ancient nations surviving next to each other for ages and sharing sense of humor, hospitality and kindness so typical of them.


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