Police training spans the globe

September 28, 2006

Reported by Britney Glaser

With the higher threats of terrorism around the world since 9/11, law enforcement agencies have made many changes to be ready for such an event.  France's police force, the "Gendarmarie," is taking part in an English-emersion program that has brought one French officer right here to Lake Charles.

Don't let his uniform throw you off if you see him riding around town with Louisiana State Troopers this week.  Capt. Gael Ronde is a French police officer with France's Gendarmarie.  Capt. Russell Haman with Louisiana State Troopers says having Ronde in town has been a pleasure.  "We've been fortunate that Capt. Ronde was assigned to us for the two weeks here so we can show him what the police agencies in our area do and how they work together, how they get along," says Haman.

It's all part of an English-emersion program to teach France's police officers how to communicate on a worldwide stage.  Ronde says, "We have to be able to work in English. That's why our police department has tried to help us improve our english skills."

With the growing terror threats around the world, the Gendarmarie takes part in extensive language training to more effectively communicate with English-speaking officials.  Major Hilman Popillion with Louisiana State Troopers says, "Basically, we are fighting the same type of battles, so you look at what training you leave here with, and go over there and you're able to go learn what they're doing.  It's certainly going to help your department back home."

The relationship between Louisiana State Troopers and France's police force developed years ago when French-speaking Louisiana troopers were sent to France to teach and learn with the French.  Popillion took part in the program in the late eighties:  "I think the program has gone through the circle where they're given the opportunity to come here and learn on our facets of law enforcement."

Ronde says he hopes to see Louisiana officers in France in the very near future. The Louisiana State Troopers also hope to expand this program to once again send Louisiana officers overseas for exposure to other policing methods.