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Benjamin Cestoni

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M
Focus Area(s)
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2
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Flor Hunt
Name
Benjamin Cestoni
Interviewee's Position
Acting Director
Interviewee's Organization
National Academy for Public Security, El Salvador
Language
Spanish
Nationality of Interviewee
El Salvadoran
Town/City
San Salvador
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Benjamin Cestoni describes the recruitment procedures employed by El Salvador's National Academy for Public Security.  Every three months, the process begins with a national recruitment announcement, a sequence of five qualifying exams that apply appropriate standards for both male and female potential cadets, personal interviews, and a vetting process that involves background checks within the recruits’ communities.  Cestoni identifies the financial burden associated with foregoing salaried employment while at the academy as a challenge for both recruitment and completion of training.  The effectiveness of each recruitment round depends on the agricultural seasons, and there is a high drop-out rate due to cadets finding paid employment.  The main incentive to join the academy is the prospect of long-term job stability, but Cestoni says the promotion system must be improved.  He underscores the success of recruitment of women, whose enrollment increased from 4% to 7%.  He identifies areas of present and potential coordination with the National Civil Police.  First, a recent curricular shift at the academy favors hands-on, skill-intensive training over theoretical instruction, which necessitates the cooperation of the police.  Second, there is constant feedback between the two institutions, so that training workshops are developed in response to the needs of acting officers.  This process resulted in great improvement in the area of investigations.  Nonetheless, Cestoni points to a need for coordinated follow-up on students after graduation, to consolidate assessment of each officer’s career progress.  Cestoni attributes academy modernization to the support offered by the international community, especially from Spain, France and the United States.  His most important suggestion for cost-efficient cooperation is for donors to emphasize deployment of trainers to the host country over inviting trainees to donor countries.

Profile

At the time of this interview, Benjamin Cestoni was the acting director of the National Academy for Public Security in El Salvador, a position he had held since 2006.  A lawyer by training, he worked at the Attorney General’s Office for 12 years and was appointed as the executive director of the Commission for Human Rights under President Álvaro Magaña in 1982.  He subsequently served as the presidential commissioner for human eights during the administrations of presidents José Napoleón Duarte and Alfredo Cristiani.  His political career began when he was appointed as President Armando Calderón’s personal secretary.  Cestoni was then elected as deputy to the Central American Parliament, and served as minister of transportation.

Full Audio File Size
79 MB
Full Audio Title
Benjamin Cestoni Interview

Aaron Weah

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J
Focus Area(s)
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17
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Arthur Boutellis
Name
Aaron Weah
Interviewee's Position
National Program Assistant
Interviewee's Organization
International Center for Transitional Justice
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Liberian
Town/City
Monrovia
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Aaron Weah, the national program assistant at the International Center for Transitional Justice, talks about police reforms in Liberia. He discusses the deactivation of the former national police and the process of recruitment, vetting and training. He explains that the new police force had a human rights component, and it accounted for equal geographical representation, that is, ethnic representation, to limit politicization.  Weah also identifies the challenges faced when carrying out the reforms, which included the presence of armed ex-combatants, inadequate logistics, police underpayment, lack of public confidence in the police and the issue of fewer women in the force. Based on a study he conducted, Weah advocates learning the best police practices from other countries, for instance, the development of police-military relations, collaboration between the security sector and the civil society, and the amalgamation of security institutions. 
 
Profile

At the time of this interview, Aaron Weah was national program assistant at the International Center for Transitional Justice in Liberia. Before that, he worked for the Center for Democratic Empowerment. Initially, he was a research assistant and later, he became the program associate. He served as the focal person on the Security Sector Working Group, which was a coalition of leading civil-society organizations in Liberia that were committed to research and advocacy with the aim of guiding public policy processes on the reform of security agencies.  As part of the working group, he visited Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Africa to try to identify best practices in police reform. 

Full Audio File Size
50MB
Full Audio Title
Aaron Weah Interview

William G. O'Neill

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A
Focus Area(s)
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16
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Gordon Peake
Name
William G. O'Neill
Interviewee's Position
Lawyer Specializing in Human Rights
Interviewee's Organization
U.N. missions in Kosovo, Rwanda and Haiti
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
American
Town/City
Brooklyn, New York
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
William G. O’Neill, a lawyer specializing in international human rights and former senior adviser on human rights for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, discusses his experiences with police sector reform in Haiti, Rwanda, and Kosovo. He begins by discussing police recruitment processes, noting that in countries developing new police forces it is important to think about the desired education, age, geographic, and gender profile of the force. He notes that an important lesson learned is that the police recruitment process takes time. While there is often tension between high quality recruitment and the need to quickly train new forces, O’Neill states that when processes are not set up correctly at the offset, later problems become more difficult to correct. He goes on to discuss local police training programs in Haiti and Kosovo. Two promising developments of the Haiti training program included the use of practical exercises and case studies derived from the Haitian context and the involvement of civil society representatives who discussed their concerns and expectations for the new Haitian National Police. O’Neill concludes by noting that it is important that the police and other relevant parts of the judiciary work together productively from the start of the police reform process.  
Profile

At the time of this interview, William G. O’Neill was a lawyer specializing in international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law. He was senior adviser on human rights in the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, chief of the U.N. Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda and head of the legal department of the U.N./OAS Mission in Haiti. He worked on judicial, police and prison reform in Burundi, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Timor Leste, Nepal and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He investigated mass killings in Afghanistan for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. He also conducted an assessment of the human rights situation in Darfur and trained the U.N.’s human rights monitors stationed there. O’Neill has published widely on the rule of law, human rights and peacekeeping. In 2008, the Social Science Research Council appointed him as director of its Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum. 

Full Audio File Size
88 MB
Full Audio Title
William G O'Neill - Full Interview

Agathe Florence Lele

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F
Focus Area(s)
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1
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Arthur Boutellis
Name
Agathe Florence Lele
Interviewee's Position
Senior Police Adviser
Interviewee's Organization
United Nations Integrated Mission in Burundi
Language
French
Nationality of Interviewee
Cameroonian
Town/City
Bujumbura
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Agathe Lele comments on the originality of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Burundi, where the police unit was part of the SSR/SA unit; in most other peacekeeping missions, the police adviser responds directly to the SRSG/head of mission. One major achievement was the adoption of a new organizational chart for the Burundi National Police in September 2007, with new  commissariats to coordinate different police services at the regional level. She describes some of the mission's other programs of support: equipment and training, uniforms, communication at regional levels, databases for personnel and crimes, sensitization on gender, programs with intelligence service and general inspection.  Some of the greatest challenges, according to Lele, stemmed from a young police force that grew quickly due to the integration process, citing the vetting that would take place under the Truth and Reconciliation Committee.  Lele also addresses some of the issues related to bilateral cooperation.
Profile

Agathe Florence Lele graduated from the Cameroon police academy in 1980, worked for 14 years in the intelligence unit, attended training in France in 2000 and 2005, served as a member of the Interpol executive committee from 2003 to 2006, and became the director of training in Cameroon during 2006-2007. At the time of this interview, she was the senior police adviser with the United Nations Integrated Mission in Burundi, a post that she began in June 2007.

Full Audio File Size
72 MB
Full Audio Title
Agathe Lele - Full Interview

Matthew Sherman

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A
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
28
Critical Tasks
Interviewers
Daniel Scher
Name
Matthew Sherman
Interviewee's Position
Consultant
Interviewee's Organization
Independent
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
American
Town/City
Arlington, VA
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Matthew Sherman, former deputy senior adviser and director of policy with Iraq’s Ministry of Interior, discusses the creation and operations of domestic security forces in Iraq. He discusses the challenges of building domestic policing capacity, including in effectively vetting new recruits and ensuring adequate and uniform training and resources. The design of the political system, he notes, has an important bearing on the development of security forces. Decentralization policies, for instance, may change the make-up of local security forces. Sherman remarks that effective security forces development requires building trust and continuity in the political system. Lack of continuity, such as he encountered in Iraq, made it difficult to implement sustainable changes. Other challenges in building domestic police capacity included the politicization of police training programs and trying to prevent rogue elements from infiltrating or shaping the security forces. Sherman concludes by stating that developing quality police capacity, including building adequate mid and senior level capacity, takes time and quantity should not come at the expense of quality. 
Profile

Matthew Sherman worked for more than three years as a civilian official in Iraq, including as a deputy senior adviser and director of policy with Iraq’s Ministry of Interior and the political adviser to the First Cavalry Division, the American military unit in charge of operations throughout Baghdad. Prior to his appointment to Iraq, Sherman had foreign assignments with the U.S. Department of State in Bosnia, Kosovo, Croatia, Montenegro, Ukraine and Moldova, where he served as an election security planner and an international monitor. Most recently, he worked as a principal with SCI Consulting, a senior adviser with the Scowcroft Group, and an adjunct with the RAND Corporation. Sherman received his bachelor's and juris doctor degrees from the University of North Carolina and a master of philosophy degree in international relations from Cambridge University. 

Full Audio File Size
90 MB
Full Audio Title
Matthew Sherman - Full Interview

Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili

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Q
Focus Area(s)
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8
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Matthew Devlin
Name
Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili
Interviewee's Position
International Security Adviser
Interviewee's Organization
National Security Council, Republic of Georgia
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Georgian
Town/City
Tbilisi
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Eka Tkeshelashvili describes police reforms in Georgia. Shortly after it assumed power, the reform government fired the entire traffic police force because of rampant corruption.  Few serious consequences flowed from this decision, though some of those discharged may have joined criminal groups.  She says that the high level of organized crime and paramilitary activity that afflicted Georgia in the early 1990s was more or less under control. In rebuilding the police force, she says, the government recruited candidates with the proper credentials and training, and pay levels were increased significantly. The Police Academy was equipped with more up-to-date facilities and curricula. Prison facilities were reformed and human rights for prisoners gained improved protection.  Police management was decentralized.  External oversight of police activity and of the prisons was improved, and the public was given new ways to report and comment on police performance.
 
Profile
At the time of this interview, Eka Tkeshelashvili was the international security adviser to Georgia's National Security Council. For the last half of 2008, she served as Georgia’s foreign minister. Earlier that year, she was prosecutor general. In 2006 and 2007, she headed the Tbilisi Court of Appeals.  In 2007, she was minister of justice. She first joined the government in 2005 and served as deputy minister of interior. She graduated from the Faculty of International Law and International Relations at Tbilisi State University in 1999.
Full Audio File Size
41MB
Full Audio Title
Eka Tkeshelashvili Interview

Lucas Kusima

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T
Focus Area(s)
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5
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Daniel Scher
Name
Lucas Kusima
Interviewee's Position
Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police
Interviewee's Organization
Tanzania
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Tanzanian
Town/City
Dar es Salaam
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Lucas Kusima talks about reforms in policing prompted by the change in Tanzania's government leadership in 2005. He describes the shortfalls in recruitment of local police and the need to change training methods to improve professionalism and a greater understanding of human rights. He talks about the difficulties of modernizing equipment and information technologies when funding must come from the communities the police serve. Kusima discusses the medium-term strategic plan for reform that is part of the national vision for development by 2025 and the methods used to compile a reform document that is inclusive and builds citizen confidence. He describes the unexpected obstacles of trying to bring about reform such as the need to amend laws and the resistance to change by the police force. Financing remains the biggest challenge, he says. The foremost achievement was building the confidence of the public, and he talks about ways public confidence in community policing is measured.  

Case Study: Restoring Police Service with a Community Vision: Tanzania, 2006-2009

Profile

At the time of this interview, Lucas Kusima was assistant commissioner of police in Tanzania. He previously served as senior superintendent of police.

Full Audio File Size
79MB
Full Audio Title
Lucas Kusima Interview

Graham Muir

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B
Focus Area(s)
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6
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Arthur Boutellis
Name
Graham Muir
Interviewee's Position
Police Commissioner
Interviewee's Organization
United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Canadian
Town/City
Ottawa
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Graham Muir describes the work of the United Nations Police as part of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti from 2005 to 2006.  He goes into detail on multiple aspects of the U.N. mission, including the meaning of the U.N. mandate to the police force as opposed to the military. He also discusses the integration of the existing national police force with the U.N. international police force.  Muir also describes the U.N. police role in training and reform and how that role interacted with security.

Profile

Graham Muir was the commissioner of the United Nations Police as part of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti from 2005 to 2006.  At the time of the interview, he had served 32 years in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  Prior to his service in Haiti, Muir served as the director of general learning and development for the RCMP.  He first became involved in international police work in 1993 as a part of the U.N. Protection Force in the former Yugoslavia.  Between 1993 and 2005 Muir was heavily involved with the training of RCMP members for U.N. police service.  He also had been involved with the Pearson Peace Keeping Center for a number of years at the time of the interview.

 
Full Audio File Size
81 MB
Full Audio Title
Graham Muir - Full Interview

Robert Bradley

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I
Focus Area(s)
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2
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Arthur Boutellis
Name
Robert Bradley
Interviewee's Position
Interim Component Manager, Safety and Security
Interviewee's Organization
Justice Sector Development Programme
Language
English
Town/City
Freetown
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Robert Bradley details his past policing experiences and discusses his role as the manager of the Justice Sector Development Programme in the security sector reform in Sierra Leone. Bradley outlines the program's priorities: supporting the Complaints, Discipline, Internal Investigation Department to build capacity, working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the inspector general of police, and encouraging police partnership boards at the grassroots level, where the community can hold the police accountable. Oversight agencies like the press, the courts, and non-governmental organizations also engaged in monitoring police activities. Bradley also highlights policing lessons drawn from his past experiences in Australia, Cambodia, Cyprus, Mozambique and other locales. He advises international organizations that are offering reform assistance to partner with locals who have knowledge of their country’s systems and laws. In the area of capacity building, he urges such organizations to design and develop training programs within the country, because people are more likely to accept homegrown solutions, and the outcomes last longer. 
 
Profile

At the time of this interview, Robert Bradley was the interim component manager ofsafety and security at the Justice Sector Development Programme in Freetown, Sierra Leone. His career in policing began in 1966 when he joined the former Australian Capital Territory police. In 1967, he was drafted into the army and he served in Vietnam. On his return to Australia in 1969, Bradley was reappointed to the ACT police. He participated in community policing in Jervis Bay and later, he worked on criminal investigations and in the Juvenile Aid Bureau. Bradley also served in the general policing division, which dealt primarily with positions related to United Nations work such as recruitment and training of officers for overseas deployment. He was a part of the U.N. missions to Cyprus, Cambodia and Mozambique. In 1995, Bradley resigned from the police force and set up police training programs in Bosnia, Eastern Slovenia, Mongolia and other areas.  

Full Audio File Size
63 MB
Full Audio Title
Robert Bradley - Full Interview

Peter Miller

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B
Focus Area(s)
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5
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Arthur Boutellis
Name
Peter Miller
Interviewee's Position
Police Commissioner
Interviewee's Organization
United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Canadian
Town/City
Ottawa
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Peter Miller draws on his experience in East Timor to highlight the challenges of building a domestic police force. He stresses that reformers must resist pressures to politicize the police by hiring unqualified friends of elected officials. Miller also mentions the difficulties posed by donor countries that press for fast action in order to minimize their costs. He says such pressures often produce domestic police forces that are inadequately prepared to take over when interim police units withdraw, as was the case in East Timor. Miller also is critical of the quality of many of the international police officers from contributing countries, especially those without a strong tradition of community policing. He calls for greater investments in the training of police officers before they are deployed, as well as in situ training of citizens. 
Profile

Peter Miller served with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for 35 years, during which we worked mainly in international police peacekeeping. Under United Nations auspices, he served as deputy commissioner of operations and training in Haiti, police commissioner for the United Nations in Western Sahara and later as police commissioner in East Timor. In Western Sahara, Miller had police officers from 10 countries under his command and in East Timor he oversaw a police force of 3,000 officers including both local and international police. After retiring from the RCMP, Miller worked with the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, a Canadian nonprofit organization, on capacity building in Africa related to peacekeeping operations.

Full Audio File Size
78 MB
Full Audio Title
Peter Miller - Full Interview