Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Law Enforcement Training Mission to Jordan and the Brotherhood of Cops

The Blue Brotherhood of Cops

Cops are truly a family

By: Joseph L. Giacalone

Roman Ruins in Amman
C 2012 E. Rosenbaum
I had the fortune to fall into the law enforcement training representative for a sanctioned mission to the country of Jordan. We all understand that great opportunities in life often arise due to the misfortunes of others. This opportunity for me was born from one such instance, and I was going to make this memorable. I entered with the thought of leaving my knowledge and experience from my over 20 years of policing with the investigators of Jordan. However, it was me that left with the ultimate reward in the form of eight new friends. Friends that now share the common mission and experience, but it was three that shared so much more.

The goal of the mission was to train the Jordanian Police Family Protection Services in the difficult task of investigating gender based violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Topics included: the response to the crime scene, identifying and collecting evidence interview and interrogation, the role of the sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), emergency room treatment, and how to get the victim physical and psychological help. The team was put together on an ad hoc basis and all strangers to a degree, consisting of a medical examiner, an emergency room doctor, a sexual assault nurse examiner, social workers and a unit chief from a  prosecutor's sex crimes division.

The Author at the Royal Police Academy, Amman, Jordan
Two members of the Jordanian police department, Ahmad and Yusef, were assigned to "babysit" the team during it's travels in and around the cities of Amman and Aqaba. I've been on similar assignments and believe me, I personally wouldn't be happy about the detail. Cops like routines, they don't particularly like change of assignments. We enjoy the action that comes with doing police work, not following strangers around, translating how much souvenirs cost or to show landmarks. It is the professional cop, that takes their orders with a spoonful of sugar and then does the best job possible. Not letting their displeasure show, not even in a facial expression. This situation for them was no different than any other assignment.

The initial introduction was met with the typical cop skepticism: Who are these people?, Why are they here?, Why do I have to watch them? and most importantly, When are they leaving? I know, because I would have asked my boss the same questions. There may have been complaints and expressions of dissatisfaction at some point in the discussion between them and their boss and especially amongst each other.

Ahmad and Yuseff were the team's security and sometimes the tour guides. I've experienced the brotherhood of cops on so many levels-cops helping other cops, its what we do and it is what makes the profession great. This however, was my first experience with cops from a foreign country. They spoke little to no English, I spoke no Arabic. However, an undeniable experience took place. We didn't share a language, customs, religion or even taste in food, but we had the strongest bond ever created, were cops. We didn't know what each was saying or wanted, but it always worked out somehow. There was a sense of respect when I was introduced to other cops, even in the streets of Amman and Aqaba and the word "police" could be made out in the cacophony of spice salesman and car horns blowing.

Team Jordan

I learned one thing for sure: that no matter what race, color, creed, religion, national origin etc., cops are, they share that one remarkable and unbreakable bond. The bond that no other profession can share or tout. Phrases such as the "Thin Blue Line" or the "Blue Wall" really don't do justice to what I experienced. I'm thinking more on the lines of the "Blue Brotherhood" or the "Blue Family." A name or phrase that shows the international distinction between professional police officers.


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Major,
      Yes it was. It was a pleasure to meet you and thanks for taking care of us. Nothing that I have experienced compares to Jordanian hospitality!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


  3. Hello,
    My name is Taghreed. I am a Lieutenant Colonel at the Jordanian Police and the head of the Regional Training Center at the Family Protection Department. It happened and I was one of those who had the great opportunity of meeting the American delegation, had dinner with them, and attended the training course that they conducted in Amman. The training course was really a remarkable one.
    I agree with cop Joe. Yes. We police officers around the glob talk the same language and we understand each other regardless of all the differences as cop Joe mentioned. This is was one of the reason that we always rush to the police member in any study tour we make for clarifications because we know deeply in the heart that they will understand what we mean and what we want. We always true. The answer always "we understand exactly what you mean because we share that".
    One of the many things that the "Blue Family" share is the commitment and seriousness that all cops around the World share.
    Going back to the training workshop in Amman, I can say it was such a fruitful one. I personally have learned a lot from the training materials the team distributed, the learning sessions, and the rich experience that each member of the delegation enjoys. During the coffee breaks, I had a small chatting with my colleague Major Sadeq about the training. We both agreed that some of the issues the delegation talked about are already knows for police officers such both of us whom had like more that 15 years of experience in the police. But both of us also agreed that the methods of teaching are different and good to learn from especially the court session in the last day. Also ,the simplicity and the examples from real experience really were different and rich.
    Honestly, I am grateful for each one of the team and it is really humble from cop Joe to say that he learned from students as much as they learned from him. I considered what I have learned from the team, Joe, Doctor Monica, Doctor Bridget, the forensic nurse Karen, Kira, Rebecca, and the general prosecutor, a special gift.
    A BIG thank you for each of the team. Many thanks for this great Blog which I will keep checking and commenting on. Cop Joe, you said on the dinner that night that I was your best student. Please, allow me to say "I am really grateful and you also was one of my best teachers ever". My admiration to the great work you are all doing in the NYPD particularly.

  4. Hi Tagreed,
    Thanks for responding to the post. It was a pleasure to meet you and hopefully we will be back. Yes, you were my best student! Intelligent, articulate and interested. Talk to you soon,

  5. Can not thank you enough Joe. See you soon in Jordan.
    Have a great night.