Cablegate: Jmpd Academy Opening: A Partnership Product


DE RUEHSA #2619/01 2071435
R 261435Z JUL 07





E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) Summary: In his speech for the official opening of the
Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department's (JMPD) academy, the
Chief of Police described it as a "product of our partnership" - a
reference to the four-year partnership between the Johannesburg
Municipality and the United States. The Chief then narrated a long
list of the accomplishments over those years. Mr. Thomas Phakati, a
member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety, and speaking on
behalf of the Mayor of Johannesburg, highlighted the USG's
assistance in sharing best practices for community policing. The
Ambassador told the first graduates of the academy that the US is
proud of their accomplishments as the best and the brightest. All
the officials made it a point to thank the USG for its support and
Phakati noted that with the upcoming World Cup games in 2010, JMPD
will request further assistance to ensure its officers are prepared.
End Summary.

2. (U) On July 17, the Ambassador participated in the official
opening of the academy of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police
Department (JMPD). The US contributed $500,000 toward the cost of
constructing the building. In addition, through the US Department
of Justice International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance
Program (ICITAP), the US has provided funding for a senior police
advisor since 2003, as well as for various training programs.

3. (U) In the absence of the Mayor of Johannesburg, Mr. Thomas
Phakati, a member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety, led
the official opening of the new police academy. After thanking the
USG for its assistance, Phakati told 206 graduating cadets that JMPD
and the USG have agreed to share best practices through the
provision of a technical advisor, training, and equipment. He
highlighted the fact that a peaceful political environment is not
possible if crime is rampant. JMPD, Phakati stressed, is interested
in a well trained police force that ensures a universal sense of
safety and security in South Africa. He cited President Mbeki's
speech to the nation last February underlining the fact that crime
could undermine South Africa's hard-earned democracy. Phakati also
cited the recent ANC policy conference, which noted that police
officers must be accountable to the communities they serve.

4. (U) Phakati noted that the best place to produce police graduates
equal to the task of adopting a policy of total opposition to crime
is through JMPD's new academy. He urged the graduates to "go out and
claim back our streets." In conclusion, Phakati, turning to the
Ambassador, said that as the city of Johannesburg prepares for the
2010 FIFA World Cup, they will approach the USG for assistance in
dealing with such a major event and to train JMPD officers to deal
with large crowds at similar sporting events.

5. (U) Police Chief Chris Ngcobo said that when JMPD was launched in
March 2001, they were aware that they were starting a local police
department in one of South Africa's largest metropolitan areas. To
ensure that a solid and sustainable foundation was laid, Chief
Ngcobo approached then US Consul General of Johannesburg, Sue Ford
Patrick, which led to the US decision to share best police
practices, especially in community policing, with the JMPD.

6. (U) Ngcobo then listed several areas of specific assistance that
the US provided in this "great partnership" with the City of

-- Provision of a law enforcement technical advisor whose
contribution the chief described as "valuable" and having had a
"tremendous affect on JMPD's success."

-- Supported training for 270 JMPD members at JMPD facilities.

-- Executive management courses for some JMPD managers in Africa and
in the United States.

-- Visit of the deputy director to seven police departments in the
US to study best practices in law enforcement, some of which are now
being implemented in Johannesburg.

-- Attendance by the Police Chief at the two-week "Executive
Leadership" course at the FBI Academy, which he said was a "great
learning experience."

7. (U) Chief Ngcobo said that although the academy was officially
opened on July 17, two basic recruit classes have already been
completed. (Note: the Chief inducted 206 graduates during the
opening ceremony. The other recruits must complete a six-month
course in a SAPS training facility before they can receive their
diplomas.) In addition, 52 recruits from neighboring municipalities
were also trained at the academy. The Chief then noted that it is
JMPD's intent to make the academy a regional training center that
will include students from other African countries. Before
administering the oath of office, the chief concluded his speech by
thanking the "government and the people of the United States of
America for their assistance in building this academy."

8. (U) The Ambassador expressed pleasure that the Municipality of
Johannesburg and the USG and people of the United States have
collaborated successfully over the years to make a "difference in
the lives of ordinary South Africans." The Ambassador noted that the
US contributed about 3.5 million rands to the academy and an
additional 8.4 million rands in training. The Ambassador highlighted
that: 20 JMPD officers attended specialized courses in ILEA
Gaborone, JMPD has established a social crime prevention unit to
interact with students and communities on traffic safety and crime
prevention information; a 20-officer bicycle unit is being formed to
assist in patrolling certain areas; JMPD managers have visited US
facilities and observed best practices. In addition, 270 officers
were trained at the JMPD facility by US trainers.

9. (U) The Ambassador singled out the contributions made by special
police advisor Willie Pannell to the JMPD over the last three years,
sharing his experiences of how the LAPD made Los Angeles a better
place to live today. The Ambassador concluded his remarks by
praising the JMPD graduates on their accomplishments and noting that
their parents and the City of Johannesburg know that they will all
do an outstanding job.

10. (U) Comment: The City of Johannesburg's public acknowledgement
of their fruitful partnership with the United States was sincere and
reflects deep appreciation by these officials. There is no doubt
that Chief Ngcobo is largely responsible for this, but we could not
help noticing the impact SLA Pannell had on the leadership: they
acknowledged his contribution as fundamental to their vision of
establishing a "world class law enforcement agency." Given JMPD's
interest in receiving additional USG training and the South African
Police Service (SAPS) recent rejection of assistance, Post believes
that it would be prudent to pursue ATA training for metropolitan
police departments within Gauteng Province, which includes the JMPD,
Tshwane, and Ekurhuleni departments. At present, the JMPD actively

assists the SAPS by providing officers to staff SAPS stations and
joint patrols. The SAPS have also intimated that the metropolitan
police forces will eventually be incorporated into the SAPS. In
light of their expanding role, ATA training for the metropolitan
police makes sense.


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