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German Polizei on patrol in Alabama

German Polizei on patrol in Alabama

The Decatur Daily

April 15, 2011

Decatur, Ala. — Four German police officers had just begun their first day with the Decatur Police Department and immediately noticed some differences between here and their home country.

“It’s much hotter, and the food is different,” said Silvia Berte of Hamburg, a vegan at mealtime. “Everything’s about meat.”

Officer Jim Archuletta of Decatur police agreed, saying that on a previous trip to Germany he learned the bread is tougher and that breakfast is cold in Europe.

Berte and three other Germans, Markus Dedmann of Hamburg, Christine Wirschun of Wiesbaden and Jurgen Reimers of Schleswig-Holstein, will be in Alabama until April 23 as part of the STAR International Police Exchange program. They started Monday.

Officers pay their own way to participate and stay with host families to cut the cost and better absorb American culture. In September, some Decatur police officers will make the trip to Germany to learn about procedure there.

Archuletta said the goal is to see how officers in other countries live and work, and to have a mix of tourist and police experiences. “Sometimes you can find a new way of solving old problems,” he said.

The German police force is all federal, and officers sign up at 16 and work until they’re 60. They also process criminals differently, focusing on rehabilitation instead of punishment. Berte said her first question when she saw the Decatur City Jail was how human rights groups felt about it. The facility offers little privacy — though separated by gender, all prisoners share a common area with bunks and tables, and stainless steel showers and toilets are openly visible. Local officers say it’s not meant to be a nice place because nice people don’t end up there.

  • Gedc0518_max50


    about 1 year ago


    Let's make a rectification. German constitution says: "Police is state issue." So, as the Federal Republic of Germany consists of sixteen states there are sixteen police departments - not over thirty thousand as in the US. This results in a much higher efficiency. One of four hundred Germans is a policeman, one of two hundred and fifty Americans is, and this does not include Border Patrol and Coast Guard.

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Sounds like a great program to be a part of.

  • Clouds_max50


    over 3 years ago


    There are a few nations with armed forces stationed here in the states. Sharing knowledge, including LE knowledge with other nations is not just entertaining. It is very important in this world we live in. Crime has become international so should crime fighting.

  • Pug_max600_max50


    over 3 years ago


    The German flag flies at the German Air Force Tactical Training Center activated at Holloman AFB in New Mexico.
    It was activated in 1996 and continues today. Germany and the US have partnered for a long time. So trading police is natural course of events. The German police unit are observers only..

  • Bald-eagle-in-flight_860_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Bump Mongo1. A field trip to learn doesn't quite rise to the level of "New World Order." I'd love to see how counterparts in other parts of the world do business.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    what we learn about the police in other countries and how they do their job will help us do our jobs better. We don't always have the right answers. Learning growing and updating our way of doing things and our way of thinking about how we go about doing our jobs may give us a new clue on those things we somehow get stuck with so we can move on to more important accomplishments. Even the police get into ruts and need a little help from someone else to get the point accross to the criminals out there, that we will not tolerate your crimes.

  • Christmas_2010_038_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I am for it and don't think that the WORLD POLICE is comming. Don't drink the water in NY. I am certain that this is still the Wild West to the Europeans. Be Safe and Be Smart.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    One thing I learned from the German police while they were here in the midwest many years ago riding around with some of the officers assigned to me was that they don't make immediate arrests for on-view drug dealing.
    They informed me and my officers that they were required to go and obtain a WARRANT for the offender's arrest, and then return at a later time to arrest the suspect! Unbelievable!

  • Prince_hall_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I wish we had some of the laws here in the states that they have in Germany. The people there respect the police. The police there are a highly trained and very professional organization. I have had the opportunity to work alongside them and the differences between us are the laws. Here in the states the laws are created by (criminals) oops I mean lawyers and they cater to the criminals it seems like slowly they are taking away our powers to effectively enforce the laws.

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50


    over 3 years ago


    One should never turn down a chance to learn especially in this line of work. It would be great to go overseas and learn how things are done somewheres else. If a person is not willing to learn new things then that person has stopped living.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    I was stationed in Germany for 2 years and watch the German LEO's working and they were expert in their duties. I would love to go back and work with them.

  • Homer_nytp_max50


    over 3 years ago


    This sounds like a good program, however, I do have some reservations about foreigners patrolling our American street. I hold this view mainly due to what is going on with the NWO and American Sovereignty. What seems to be an harmless program to me is promoting the One World Gov. Seems far out, but not really. A few years ago the army was doing this with some foreign troops in one of our States and allowed these troops to enter a local town conducting training on urban warfare. NOT A VERY GOOD IDEA.

    So, if the program is intended to better our service then I think it would be better to send a training officer to observe and bring back what he thinks would be suitable for use here. BUT NO, I do not think this program is a good one. Our US Constitution is unique amongst any in this world and so our goals are not necessarily the same in policing. This is just how I feel so don't anyone start calling me out on it.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    What an awsome experience... sign me up!!

  • 711022_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I worked at a German restaurant in highschool and made alot of contacts. A good friend of mine is a polizei in the state of Hessen in Germany. We have alotof discussions when he visits the states. I remember him saying they have alot of crime in Turkish communities. They're use of force and arrest policies are much different. They are also highly trained and must participate in a team sport (i.e. soccer) to help them stay in shape. Cool article.

  • Fa03_max50


    over 3 years ago


    wow that's outstanding, that's a great program ... we can learn new things and vice versa from other places and implement ideas to make the job easier .

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