Remarks by Ambassador Elizabeth Richards Opening of the Ashrafieh Police Station

Opening of the Ashrafieh Police Station

Minister Mashnouk, Minister Pharaon, Director General Osman, it’s very nice to see you here today, everyone, all our friends and colleagues, especially those who will be working in this very building.  It gives me great pleasure to join you this morning for the re-opening of the Ashrafieh Community Police Station.

This location represents much more than the opening of another police station.  The Ashrafieh Community Police Station represents a new Community Policing model for the ISF.  The importance of Community Policing is that it is built on a foundation of police and local citizens working together to maintain and improve safety and security.  The key here is effective cooperation between the police and the citizens, with an emphasis on both sides on public service.

The police alone cannot assure public safety.  However, when communities and police work together, they can counter crime, reduce violence, and stamp out terrorism.  I look forward to this Community Policing Station becoming a model of public service, where the role of each and every police officer, and the public service they provide, is highlighted.  We know that the ISF works tirelessly every day throughout the year, to help keep Lebanon safe and they need your help.

The United States is very proud of the efforts that we have spent to assist the ISF over the years.  Since 2008, the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has provided training for thousands of ISF officers, providing  over $178 million in support  to the ISF, one of our closest partners here in Lebanon.  This is just one part of the over $5.4 that we have invested in Lebanon over the past ten years.  We are proud of the strong and successful partnership we have with Lebanon and with the ISF, and of what we have achieved together.

This building is an excellent example of that success: a modern police station, accessible to the public, and staffed by officers who are trained to work cooperatively with the local community to counter crime and promote safety.

I want to congratulate the ISF and the Ministry of Interior on launching this project, and on their focus on Community Policing.  I really look forward to the great work you are going to do for all of us as you accomplish everything that you’ve set out to do through these efforts.  We are proud to help support this important work.

Thank you!