SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - The South Brunswick Police Department in conjunction with the New Jersey State Chiefs of Police and the South Brunswick School District hosted a lecture by Chief Inspector Dave Annets of the United Kingdom on Wednesday.
The lecture, held at South Brunswick High School Wednesday afternoon, highlighted the difference between American and European policing.
Annets has served for 30 years on police forces in England and as an instructor at the College of Policing and The European Police College.
He has worked in investigations, patrol, and tactical counter-terrorism during that time.
Annets detailed the challenges of policing in England over the past several years from riots to terrorism.
He highlighted challenges his police agency faced from stop and frisk encounters to protests over poor police work.
He identified the events of Sept. 11, 2001 as forever changing the work he did.
“Prior to Sept. 11 we were mainly focused on threats from Northern Ireland, but after the attacks in New York City we had to shift our priorities,” he said.
A student asked what the most stressful situation he has faced in his career.
Annets said he was once following a terrorist group and had to decide how long to let the group go before making arrests.
“In police work, we have to be correct 100 percent of the time,” he said. “Knowing that if you make a wrong decision and act too soon someone may get away, and if you wait too long someone will get hurt.”
Annets also highlighted that strong police community relations was the key to heading off problems.
“Many of the problems facing American policing today have already been experienced in England. Riots took place over negative police interactions because we failed to engage and communicate with the community,” he said. “We realized it was crucial to have public support in order to be successful.”
Another student asked about what it was like to police a community without a gun.
Annets said that while American police carry weapons, the vast majority will go their entire career without firing a weapon.
“It is not much different in England or America, most police officers use their speech to diffuse or resolve situations,” said Annets.
“Our hope was to expose the students to a different perspective that they would not otherwise have,” South Brunswick Chief of Police Raymond Hayducka said. “The students were able to have a global learning experience from their own classroom.”
South Brunswick School District School Superintendent Dr. Jerry Jellig said, “Today was a great cultural learning opportunity for our students and staff, and we so appreciate the South Brunswick Police Department support.”
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