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Multicultural Policing Featured
At International Conference

At the close of the conference the following declaration was adopted:

Policing in Multicultural Societies, 2001:
The Huntsville Declaration

The participants of the 23rd International Police Course on Policing Multicultural Societies, representing 24 countries, organized by INTERCENTER (Europe) and the College of Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University, after having deliberated for ten days in Huntsville, Texas, announce the following declaration on October 26, 2001:

First: Freedom is the indestructible right of every human being; a right that must be even more secure for those who cannot defend themselves, than those who can;

Second: Justice is the manifestation of freedom and freedom is the engine of justice. Where there is no justice, society will forever be left in the darkness of slavery, crime, and humiliation;

Third: A civilized police is the natural maker and defender of social justice. If they are unable or unwilling, society will grieve and the world will suffer.

As a result:

Law enforcement agencies should be close to the citizens, preserve the ethnic and cultural dimension of society, protect the changing multicultural community, in particular, the minorities and the most vulnerable people.

On this day, members of this conference dedicate themselves and their representative countries to this declaration.

Participating countries were: Belgium, Botswana, British and Caicos Islands, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Lesotho, Madagascar, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States.

An international program hosted by the Criminal Justice Center at Sam Houston State University Oct. 17-27 will address a number of problems that jeopardize the safety of the international community.

The XXIII International Course of Higher Specialization for Police Services: "Policing in Multicultural Societies" is sponsored by the International Center of Sociological, Penal and Penitentiary Research and Studies based in Messina, Italy. InterCenter has been organizing an international course of higher specialization each year since 1978.

The conferences have previously been held in China, France and Iran, and this will be the first time that this event will take place in the United States.

The conference is especially timely because of the recent terrorist attacks on the United States.

"Throughout the history of the United States, society has had one enduring challenge---how to deal with diversity," said Sean Hill, conference coordinator. "Often the problem of dealing with diverse populations comes under the rubric of policing.

"The traditional loyalty that citizens owe their country or state, nourished by appeals to national pride and honor and enforced by the power of the existing law, often finds itself in conflict with allegiances owed to some other community --- be it racial, ethnic, tribal, clannish, religious, ideological, economic, sexual, or linguistic," Hill said.

"It is highly probable that the greatest contemporary and escalating social disorder my come from not only outside the U.S., but within its borders as well. Police officers will continue to be tasked as first responders to conflicts of diversity and will serve as the mechanism for preventing escalating dilemmas based on ethnic diversity," he said.

"It is therefore imperative that police departments and officers raise their level of consciousness regarding how to train and manage a diverse police force prepared to deal with social issues in diverse communities," Hill said.

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the conference are socioeconomic factors in policing and the world economy; the future of international law enforcement, and policing the immigrant youth. A panel of U.S. federal law enforcement executives will speak on current multi-ethnic issues in their respective agencies.

The course is expected to draw criminal justice professionals from more than 25 countries, including representatives from China, Iran, Bahrain, Egypt, Spain, Belgium, Botswana, Peru, and Chile to exchange information on multicultural policing issues.

For additional information, contact Sean Hill, conference coordinator, at 936.294-4875 or e-mail

- END -

SHSU Media Contact: Julia May
September 28, 2001
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