Baltimore Police major selected for U.N. training in Sweden

March 28, 2013|By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore police Maj. Melissa Hyatt, commander of police’s Central District, was accepted into a three-week United Nations training program in Sweden with other law enforcement officials from across the world.

Hyatt, 37, said she is the only American participating in this year’s United Nations Police Commanders Course, which takes place April 8 - 26, with police officers from around the world.

The course, directed by the Swedish National Bureau of Investigation and the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre, focuses on “intercultural leadership” using many of the same training UN military officers undergo, according to a course description.

While the course aims to prepare senior police officers for future management assignments in police peacekeeping operations around the world, Hyatt said it will also teach her new policing techniques and procedures from foreign police departments.

Hyatt, a 16-year Baltimore police veteran, said the course should also help her better understand and deal with Baltimore’s diverse and growing population of immigrants.

“As Baltimore diversifies, and we have people coming in from all parts of the world, it’s important to train with other people from across the world,” she said.

According to a description of the UN program from the Swedish Police Service’s website, participants will learn to communicate and develop relationships in a multicultural team, understand how decisions can affect a host country, learn UN mandates and democratic policing concepts.

Hyatt said the first two weeks will focus on classroom-type learning while the last week will feature the officers working in simulated police peacekeeping scenarios. She said she was recommended to apply for the program after the UN announced that it was seeking a female American police commander to fill out a diverse class of about 15 students.

While Hyatt is away, Baltimore police Capt. William Marcus will help lead the Central District though Hyatt said she will still be in close communication.

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