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Dr. Henry Lee and Madison Police Chief Jack Drumm address a visiting delegation of Chinese police officers on Jan. 22. (Photo by Zoe Roos/The Source | Buy This Photo)
The Madison police vehicles were one of many aspects of the department shown to the Chinese delegation on their Jan. 22 visit. (Photo by Zoe Roos/The Source | Buy This Photo)
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Officials visiting different police departments is not unusual, but on Jan. 22, the Madison Police Department hosted some esteemed and unique guests: Dr. Henry Lee and more than 20 members of the Chinese police force.
Lee, the famed forensic scientist who has consulted on thousands of cases across the globe including the O.J. Simpson trial and the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation, runs a visiting scholar program through the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science at the University of New Haven. The program includes visits to local law enforcement and Lee selected the Madison Police Department as a stop for the delegation from China.
The day included a discussion, a tour of the building, and displays of police assets such as vehicles, weapons (none of which were loaded), and Police K-9 Unit Paco. Captain Joe Race said Madison was one of many stops for the delegation designed to help show what policing is like in America in departments both large and small.
“Dr. Lee wanted to come here because of our duel accreditation, but also to talk about how far you can come from where were to where we are as an agency,” he said.
Madison Police Chief Jack Drumm, who knows Lee from his time in the State Police where Lee served as director of the Connecticut State Police Forensic Science Laboratory, spoke to the delegation about the history of the department, the state of policing in America, as well as local issues like policing during the opioid crisis and how to properly deal with someone suffering from mental health issues.
Lee highlighted the clear differences between policing in the United States and policing in China, most noticeably the size of departments and the use of guns by officers.
“They [the delegates] are all from one province,” he said. “In China we have 31 provinces. Each province has their own police public safety department.”
In the province from which the delegates visited, the number of officers to civilians is vastly higher than in America. Gun ownership is heavily regulated in China so Race said most of the officers visiting do not carry a firearm.
“Some of them do, but most of them don’t because it is mostly investigative,” he said.
Drumm said Lee has brought a few groups through the department over the years.
“For me it is very interesting,” he said. “We have had through the years different folks from different cultures come, so it is fascinating to share policing methods with groups from around the country and abroad.”
After having the opportunity to host, Race said a Madison officer will soon have the opportunity to visit China. Drumm is expected to travel to China sometime in the future, having been formally invited by Lee.
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