Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith Shares His Thoughts About His Visit to Abu Dhabi
Back home and beating the jet lag. Over the last week, I had a unique opportunity to participate in a police training mission to Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. I spent the week training the staff from the Dalma Island Police Station on Human Rights issues. Dalma Island is about 22 miles off the coast of mainland Abu Dhabi.
On my time in Abu Dhabi- It was quite interesting, because here in the United States when we view a topic like human rights, we use the U.S. Constitution (and more specifically the Bill of Rights) as the defining documents on the rights of man.Internationally, the case can be quite different. While the UAE is arguably the most western and free nation in the Persian Gulf region, their idea of freedom and individual liberties is quite different from ours. We had some interesting discussions on the topic of human rights and the responsibility of police officers to protect those rights.
Over the week, I met many interesting and hospitable people. In fact, I met several who offered me rides when they drove past me, walking alongside the road in the desert's 111 degree heat. I believe they probably questioned the sanity of the American Sheriff who enjoyed the adventure of trekking in the desert in the heat of the day.
Looking at the world from such a different set of eyes, certainly provided me valuable insights into my duties as a Sheriff; ones that I hadn't seen as clearly as before the trip. I appreciate the rights that have been secured for us even more now and recognize, even more clearly, my responsibility to protect those rights for my community
It's darned good to be home!
*The Sheriff talked about a number of topics in his Facebook post. I focused on his trip to the Middle East for this blog.