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Two Days With the Royal Thai Police

05/14/13

Boasting 16 years of law enforcement experience, Royal Thai Police Lieutenant Colonel Anusak "Tony" Sakdavatcharranon was able to relate to almost any unit he met with on the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD). "We have the same in Thailand," Tony often said during his short time with the LASD. Though the physical distance between Thailand and Los Angeles County is over 8,000 miles, Pol. Lt. Col. Tony's visit to the LASD highlighted the many similarities between the LASD and the Royal Thai Police, the national police force of Thailand. Tony's time with the LASDhis first visit to the United Statesalso shed light on the vibrant, diverse Thai community living in Los Angeles County.

Pol. Lt. Col. Tony's two-day study of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department came as a result of a request from his supervisor, the Royal Thai Police Commissioner for the Provincial Police Region 4, to LA County Sheriff Lee Baca. The purpose of the requested visit was to learn more about LASD's Patrol Operations, Homeland Security Division (especially Special Enforcement Bureau), and Custody Operations. The Commissioner of the Provincial Police, Police Lieutenant General Kawee Supanun, hoped that the techniques and lessons gleaned from the LASD could help improve issues faced by the Royal Thai Police.

Pol. Lt. Col. Tony is currently a Deputy Superintendent in the Special Operation Sub-Division of the Royal Thai Police, a rank similar to an LASD Lieutenant. Specifically, Tony works in the Provincial Police Region 4, representing the Kohn Kaen Province of Northeast Thailand.

Tony's first day with the LASD was spent entirely at Cerritos Sheriff's Patrol Station. There, he learned about Community Oriented Policing, and the hard work of the Station's Detective Bureau, Traffic Investigations, and 911 Dispatch. Tony also met with Cerritos Station Captain Keith Swensson, and took note of the structure and function of the Sheriff's Department, and how it differs from federal agencies and police departments. Tony was thrilled to see that the local Thai newspaper in Cerritos had recently written a story about the "See Something Say Something" initiative!

Tony's second day with the LASD took him to the Men's Central Jail, Special Enforcement Bureau, and Marina Del Rey Sheriff's Patrol Station. In Thailand, jails are not operated by the local law enforcement. It was a great learning experience for the visiting Pol. Lt. Col. to see how LASD deputies have the opportunity to gain experience in the County Jails before beginning their patrol careers. Tony was especially fascinated by the LASD's Education Based Incarceration program, which offers educational opportunities to inmates who fall under the guidelines of the program.

When Tony visited the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB), a unit similar to the one he oversees in Thailand, he got a glimpse of the technology used by SEB in high-risk tactical operations. The Pol. Lt. Col. focused many of his questions on office safety, taking special care to examine the vests and armored vehicles used by LASD's SEB.

During his visit to the LASD, Tony was accompanied by LASD Sheriff's Reserve Keith Chatprapachai, a native of Thailand and a Reserve Deputy at Cerritos Station. Reserve Deputy Chatprapachai assisted the LASD with interpretation, and helped explain the nuances of policing and government in Thailand. His voluntary assistance helped the LASD learn a great deal about the Thai Community, and assisted the Department in sharing helpful information with Pol. Lt. Col. Tony Sakdavatcharranon.









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