The University of Houston-Downtown served as the site of an international exchange of ideas on law enforcement during the month of January.
More than 40 police cadets and two professors from Central Police University (CPU) of Taiwan have spent two weeks learning about police work from the experts at UHD’s Criminal Justice Training Center (CJTC). In spite of the city’s two-day freeze, these students learned from Houston Police Department officers, as well as CJTC instructors. They also visited the HPD Academy and the Houston Fire Department.
The collaboration serves as the heart of UHD’s Bayou Connection, a program connecting the University with institutions in Taiwan. Since Bayou Connection’s inception more than a decade ago, nearly 300 students have ventured to Houston to hone their policing skills at UHD and in Houston.
Leading the Bayou Connection are UHD Criminal Justice professors director Hsiao-Ming Wang and assistant director Judith Harris.
“You’re the largest group to come to UHD from Taiwan’s Central Police University,” Wang told the cadets during a campus welcome ceremony. “You’re also the first international students to be trained at the Criminal Justice Training Center.”
During that opening ceremony, Wang acknowledged that the collaboration between UHD and CPU relied on many other partners, including the Houston Police Department Academy. Wang then introduced HPD Lt. Bradley Morefield to the cadets.
“Here in America, we have a saying,” he said. “If you love something, it’s in your blood. Law enforcement gets in your blood. Public service gets in your blood. Because it’s in your blood, we consider each other brothers and sisters. Welcome to our family. I am sure during all of your training here, police work also will be in your blood too.”
In addition to a welcome luncheon (with special guests College of Public Service interim dean Dr. Leigh Van Horn and UHD Vice President for Advancement and University Relations Johanna Wolfe among others), students attended a banquet hosted by the Taipei Economic and Culture Office in Houston.
Classes and lectures focused on a variety of topics including criminology, crisis intervention, fitness and wellness, crash investigations and firearms.
Students are spending one final day in Houston before returning to Taiwan, and will formally receive graduation certificates at 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 26.