IADLEST President, Richard Clark and Executive Director, Mike Becar met with a group of Government & Education Officials from Lagos, Nigeria who reached out to them for assistance in training Lagos Law Enforcement Officers. The Lagos State Government’s intent was to establish a Law Enforcement Institute. The Executive Board of IADLEST then began their search to find a qualified instructor that they could send to Nigeria to provide the assistance and training they were looking for.
Among the several individuals who were interested in this once in a lifetime opportunity was James Russell Sharpe who works for the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions in Sykesville, Maryland. With Mr. Sharpe’s background in working with the State Department in training foreign corrections and parole and probation officials, as well as being an advanced law enforcement instructor and Homeland Security Coordinator in the Law Enforcement Training Unit, the Executive Board of IADLEST felt that Russ would be a great candidate and selected him to go.
The journey began on December 8, 2012 when Russ arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, after a 22 hour flight that started in Baltimore, MD. He was met at Murtala Muhammed International Airport by Abimbola Lamina who works for the Ministry of Transportation. Shortly after arriving to his hotel he had a meeting with his host, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Transport Education, Dr. Mariam Masha. At that meeting they discussed what he would be doing for the next 8 working days which consisted of being the featured facilitator at a capacity building workshop on “developing standards and training” for the Law Enforcement Officers of the State Government. The Lagos State Government’s intent is to establish a Law Enforcement Institute and Dr. Masha was the lead person on the project.
During the workshop Russ discussed hiring standards, what a Lagos Law Enforcement Officer needs to know and training objectives, length of training, ongoing in service training, hiring and training of staff, academy administrative needs, record keeping and training standard’s. They also touched on subjects such as integrity, public perception, interagency relations, intergovernmental relations, nepotism and cronyism, and the unique problems of Lagos. Attending his workshop were administrators, managers and supervisors from the Lagos Law Enforcement Agencies: Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) Kick against Indiscipline (KAI) Brigade, the Law Enforcement Unit Ministry of the Environment, neighborhood watch, and the Lagos State Security outfit. The workshop was held at the Public Service Staff Development Centre (PSSDC) in Magondo, Lagos.
Russ was in Lagos for a total of 10 days and upon returning home, he gave us a short write up on the whole experience and said “This was one of the best training experiences I have had as a trainer. I think I stimulated some thought and gave the workshop participants suggestions on how to make the Lagos Law Enforcement Institute a reality.” Russ plans on continuing to assist the Lagos State Government in building a top flight law enforcement training academy.
On behalf of IADLEST I want to thank you Mr. Sharpe for the dedication and professionalism you put into this project, your time and effort, and for sharing your expertise in helping Nigeria establish their Law Enforcement Institute.
In the front row are: Homeland Security Coordinator, State of Maryland, James Russell Sharpe (3rd Right), Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Transport Education, Dr. Mariam Masha (3rd Left),Project coordinator, Miss. Demilola Shitta (2nd Right), Special Assistant to the Governor on Kick against Indiscipline (KAI), Mr. Dapo Bode-Thomas (Right)