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Contact: Joe King, NIU Office of Public Affairs
September 19, 2006
DeKalb — It is no exaggeration to say that the challenge extended by the U.S. State Department and accepted by Northern Illinois University Chief of Police Don Grady is one of the biggest in the law enforcement world today.
Beginning in October, Grady will serve a one-year term as a senior adviser to the Iraqi Minister of the Interior, providing counsel on how to undertake democratic policing throughout the troubled nation. The minister is Iraq’s top law enforcement official.
Grady also will offer guidance on how to improve the professionalism of the nation’s special police, border enforcement forces and immigration and customs services.
“It will be my job to advise the minister and assist him in implementing the best practices in policing – those that will be most conducive to the creation of a democratic state,” Grady said. “I will also assist in developing an understanding of how to undertake enforcement action while working within the rule of law and adhering to the international standards of human rights.”
The 53-year-old Grady was recruited because his experience makes him uniquely qualified to address the conditions in Iraq today.
Prior to accepting the job as chief of police and director of public safety at NIU, Grady worked extensively in Eastern Europe, introducing democratic-style policing in cultures where it was previously unknown.
During the late 1990s, he worked in the Balkans helping to establish police forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He prepared and successfully executed a plan to create a multi-ethnic police force in the highly contentious region of Brcko where Serbs and Bosnian Muslims and the Croats had been engaged in a particularly heinous civil war.
“Brcko was a flashpoint,” said Ambassador Bill Farrand (retired), who was the Brcko district supervisor and worked with Grady. “It was a town of about 85,000 before the war, but the population had dwindled due to heavy fighting and much loss of civilian life. It was a microcosm of Baghdad today.”
Leading a United Nations force of more than 315 police officers drawn from 36 countries, Grady trained and installed a professional police force staffed by officers willing to protect all citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.
“He had a tough job: installing a professional police force that would operate under the principles of democratic policing,” said Farrand.
“Within a year, he delivered. We had the first tri-ethnic police force in all of Bosnia Herzegovina. It became a model for the rest of the country,” added Farrand, who praised the selection of Grady for the post in Iraq.
Following his time in Brcko, Grady served as senior police adviser to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, where he authored the strategic plan for the establishment of the Kosovo Police Service School. He subsequently was named deputy police commissioner in Kosovo, where he developed and implemented the post-war re-entry plan for the United Nations International Civilian Police Mission. He created the employment strategy for the identification, recruitment and selection of candidates for the multi-ethnic Kosovo Police Service.
His mission in Iraq will draw heavily upon lessons he learned in those jobs. However, Grady also believes that his experience at NIU will prove useful.
Since coming to the university, he has worked to build a department that epitomizes what he calls “integrated policing,” a style of law enforcement he believes could benefit police professionals in Iraq. It uses an “open systems” approach to problem identification, prevention and resolution. According to Grady, integrated policing is not just a philosophy or an open-ended problem-solving strategy, but rather a prescription for the reduction and avoidance of crime.
Grady has spent the last five years building and training a police force that adheres to those tenets. The results of his leadership at NIU have been dramatic. Since Grady arrived, the relationship between students and police has improved significantly, and the campus crime rate dropped nearly 60 percent during his first year on campus.
“He has created one of the most outstanding public safety programs found at any university in the nation,” said NIU Executive Vice President Eddie Williams.
Grady hopes that during his time in Iraq he will be able to apply those principles in Iraq and assist in the development of a framework of policies, procedures and guidelines that will serve as a foundation for police forces across the country. It will not be easy, he concedes. Nevertheless, he remains optimistic.
“The police culture in Iraq is in its infancy. This is a chance to start from scratch and success is critical. If this is done well, our troops may be able to come home sooner,” said Grady.
NIU’s Williams believes Grady is up to the task.
“His selection for this special assignment is a reflection of the talent and professional expertise that we have benefited from so greatly. He is truly the right man for the job at the right time,” Williams said. “We all extend our best wishes and prayers for his success, and for his safe and speedy return.”
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