Sweden partners with Rutgers to combat crime, gun violence in Europe
Rutgers will be working with the Swedish National Police to forge relationships with law enforcement agencies in the United States to help Sweden and other countries in Europe fight organized crime, gun violence and extremism in domestic areas, according to Rutgers Today.
The Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience, which is part of the Rutgers Institute for Secure Communities (RISC) and a joint enterprise with the Eagleton Institute of Politics and Rutgers Law School, will be in charge of leading the partnership. They will be participating in a series of meetings between leaders of the Swedish National Police, New Jersey State Police, New York Police Department and U.S. Department of Homeland Security this week.
“Through the Miller Center, we are bringing decades worth of law enforcement, intelligence and security expertise to communities around the globe who need to adapt to evolving threats and security challenges," Elie Honig, executive director of the RISC, said.
The center is responsible for helping communities and city, state and national governments to create programs to protect individuals and also prevent organized crime and extremist group violence. As a result, leaders from the Swedish government contacted the Miller Center to help them with increased gang violence in their area.
“The Miller Center, whose work began in response to the increase in extremist violence directed at vulnerable communities in Europe and the United States, has provided assistance to areas as different from each other as Brussels, Belgium and Whitefish, Montana, and to communities as diverse as the Muslim community in Mollenbeeck, Belgium and the Jewish community in Whitefish," said John Farmer, the executive director of the Miller Center.
He said the center is committed to assisting said communities, and that law enforcement was working with them to enhance public safety. He is sure that officials in the United States will learn as much from Swedish police forces as they learn from the United States.
Patrick Callahan, the colonel of the New Jersey State Police, said since the creation of the New Jersey Regional Operations and Intelligence Center (ROIC) in 2006, it has become an essential part of the state's homeland security and law enforcement missions. The center has also expanded to fight the opioid crisis with programs like the Drug Monitoring Initiative, which identifies regional drug trends and notifies the public of narcotics.
“The ROIC has cultivated strong partnerships with federal, state, county and local law enforcement in addition to private sector stakeholders, greatly enhancing New Jersey's ability to prevent and combat crime," he said. "Sweden's law enforcement community will without question benefit from the intelligence-led policing, analysis and information sharing that fusion centers promote.”
The Swedish National Police first contacted the Miller Center in spring of 2018, organizing meetings with agencies such as the Swedish Defense University, Ministry of Justice and Civil Contingencies Agency to discuss the Sweden law enforcement's social challenges and how to solve them. In turn, the Rutgers team provided insight on its training programs to build relationships between communities and law enforcement.
“Thanks to the Rutgers University Miller Center for Community Protection and Resilience for giving us the opportunity to meet with our fellow law enforcement colleagues at the New Jersey State Police. We recognized that we have many common challenges concerning extremism, organized crime and gang violence. We are going to share best practices, lessons learned and engaging in collaborative research in these critical areas. We look forward to continuing our work with Rutgers University and New Jersey State Police in a long-term relationship," said Jan Everson, the Swedish National Police Commissioner.