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For a society to be sustainable in the short run and in the long run, it needs to ensure that its members are safe from any dangers that might arise from within or outside of the society. To achieve this goal, all nations around the globe have developed various law enforcement agencies to guarantee security to its citizens as well as any other individual who might be within their jurisdiction.
In the Emirates, the Abu Dhabi Police is the main law-enforcing agency. The police force is under the directives of His Highness Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister. The vision of the Abu Dhabi Police is to ensure that it meets the needs of the public through effective training and integrity.
Thus, its core values are integrity, honesty, justice, and the respect of the rights of every individual irrespective of their race, religion, or background. The Abu Dhabi Police operates under the Ministry of Interior. However, to ensure that its operations are effective and efficient, it has collaborated with local, national, and international organizations to ensure that the law has been enforced in the latter, public safety is guaranteed, and law and order is maintained.
In the quest of fighting crime and ensuring that the people and interests that it protects are safe from danger, the Abu Dhabi Police force has always strived to be effective and efficient in its operations. To achieve this goal, the force has put in place an organization structure that ensures directives and information from the higher levels of command are conveyed and acted upon by the respective personnel within the force.
Consequently, it has been the culture of the police force to adopt new technologies and practices that are effective in its operations and incorporate them with traditional practices that have been successful to ensure that it achieves its goals and objectives. In the process, Abu Dhabi police force has been able to meet the needs and requirements of the people, institutions, interests that it serves, hence been regarded as the leading partner of the Abu Dhabi community.
The Abu Dhabi Police was founded in 1957 (Metcalfe 141). Since then, the police force has experienced great changes in its organization and the manner in which it operates. During its early days of operation, the force only comprised of 80 police officers. The main role of these police officers was to guard royal locations within the emirate and provide security in market zones and banking institutions.
However, given the increased needs of the community such as naval security, the number of police officers had increased to over 150 by 1960. However, it was not until in 1971 when the Abu Dhabi police was recognized as an official government institution.
During this time, the leader of Abu Dhabi and the then president of the UAE the late H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan issued a directive that led to the departmentalization of the government of Abu Dhabi (Dicke 165). This directive led to the formation of various ministries. Among these ministries was the Ministry of Interior under which the Abu Dhabi Police has been operating up to the present moment.
By 1995, the Abu Dhabi Police had formally merged with the Federal Ministry of Interior. This merger increased the power and responsibilities that were vested in the police force. Therefore, to ensure that its operations will be sustainable in the short run and in the long run, the Abu Dhabi Police commenced a modernization exercise that aimed at modifying its operations to meet the changing needs of the society.
To realize this goal, a strategic plan was implemented. This led to a change in the organization structure of the police force, an increase in the number of police officers, introduction of rigorous training and development exercises, and the acquisition of sophisticated technology to assist in the operations of the force in providing safety and security to the community.
At the present moment, there are over 36,000 police personnel under the umbrella of the Abu Dhabi Police. These individuals are guided by their codes of conduct that emphasis on morality, accountability, reliability, honesty, and integrity.
The Commander General, Ismail Alkaabi, heads the police force with the help of his deputy, Salem Alhajiri. Below him are the department heads of various departments and service centers that are supported by their deputies in their operations.
Despite the fact that the Abu Dhabi Police has different department and service centers, it is the role of the Human Resource Department (HR) to ensure that the activities of all these departments lead to the realization of the goals and objectives of the police force.
Ahmed Alhashimi heads the HR department. With the help of his deputy, Ahmed Khalid, they ensure that the members of the Abu Dhabi police force are qualified, effectively trained for their respective roles, adhere to the ethics and rule of conduct of the police department.
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Ismail Alkaabi has been the Commander General of the Abu Dhabi Police since 1999. Born in 1951, Alkaabi commenced his career as a police officer in Abu Dhabi when he was only 20 years of age. Through his hard work, he has managed to develop his career and achieve the highest police rank in the emirate. Between 1981 and 1985, Alkaabi went the United States for his undergraduate degree in criminology.
After his graduation, he enrolled in a Masters Degree in the same course. Furthermore, Alkaabi has undertaken several other short courses and training exercises. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Alkaabi held the position of the Deputy General Directorate for Central Operations in the Abu Dhabi police force. While under this docket, the leadership style of Alkaabi was characterized by morals, ethics, wisdom, and integrity.
While holding this post, he had zero tolerance for criminal activities especially with regards to petty crime. Guided by the broken window theory, Alkaabi believed that if petty crime is not checked in due time, it will eventually lead to even greater crime. Thus, to ensure that Abu Dhabi is safe from any criminal activities, Alkaabi advocated to have a police force that is friendly to the public.
This ideology played a critical role in enhancing the relationship between the police and the public. Consequently, Alkaabi played a significant role in the modernization of the Abu Dhabi Police. It is these factors that probably led to his appointment as the Commander General in 1999.
As the head of the Abu Dhabi Police, Alkaabi has played a significant role in modernizing the police force, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the police force, empowerment of the public in fighting crime, and fostering a desirable relationship with the stakeholders of the police force.
The Deputy Commander General, Salem Alhajiri also has a desirable track record in the Ministry of Interior. The 56 year old commenced his career as a military personnel in 1980. After serving the military, Alhajiri became the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Interior between 1992 and 1995.
During this time, he played a significant role in the development of strategic plans that would modernize the Abu Dhabi Police to ensure that it met the needs and requirements of the people and interests that it served. In 2001, Alhajiri became the General Directorate of Finance and Services in Abu Dhabi Police, a position that he held for three years after which he was promoted to the rank of Deputy Commander General.
As Harque (2012) asserted, the success of an organization highly relies on its employees (137). With this realization, Abu Dhabi Police has always strived to have the best personnel to work under its umbrella. It has thus been the work of Ahmed Alhashimi, the head of the Human Resources in Abu Dhabi Police to ensure that the correct personnel are recruited and trained as per the requirements of the police force.
At the same time, Alhashimi has ensured that employees within the police force adhere to the organizational culture of the police force, follow the rules and codes of conduct that govern their profession, treat each other with respect, and most importantly, work to achieve the vision and mission of the Abu Dhabi Police. Other than being the head of the HR department of Abu Dhabi Police, Alhashimi has serviced in several posts within the force.
He has been the acting Deputy Directorate of Policing and a member of several committees within the police force and the Ministry of Interior. In the process, he has received several medals and honors. For instance, in 2009, he received the sustainable leadership medal that was presented to him by the President of the UAE. Consequently, he holds a Masters Degree from Stanford University in Information Science, a Bachelors Degree in Public Administration, and a diploma in Policing Studies.
The work of Alhashimi has received a lot of effort and assistance from his deputy, Ahmed Khalid. Just like Alhashimi, Khalid has played a significant role in ensuring that the Abu Dhabi Police has the right personnel to achieve its goals and objectives. Khalid is a holder of a Bachelors Degree in Military Science.
He has served in the Ministry of Internal and has been a special advisor of the President of the UAE for several years. In the course of his career, he has received several awards. Thus, under the leadership of Alshamini and Khalid, the HR department has been able to modernization of the police force. For instance, five major departments have been automated with the help of ICT technologies.
These include personal affairs, training and development, and performance appraisals. While using the HOPAS system, the automation has saved over 43% of the time used to develop performance appraisals by all the employees. Consequently, the two have managed to introduce development projects and reward systems that have increased the levels of job satisfaction within its employees. This move has greatly increased the performance of the Abu Dhabi Police, especially in the 21st century.
The external environment of the Abu Dhabi police force is comprised of the residents of Abu Dhabi. According to the national statistics, it was approximated that Abu Dhabi has a population of 1.5 million people (Ndou 16). 4.6% of this population is comprised of expatriates while the rest of the population comprised of residents of Abu Dhabi and other member states of the UAE.
Being a business center of the UAE and the Middle East, Abu Dhabi hosts several business entities, research institutions, and manufacturing plants. Since the emirate has 95% of the world’s oil reserves, a lot of oil mining companies have interests in this region. Consequently, the city has a scenic view that attracts tourists from all around the world.
Given its economic status, it has been of great importance for the government to maintain desirable relationship with other governments, multinational corporations and non-governmental organizations. Finally, the media plays a significant role in conveying information within and outside the emirate. There are state and privately owned media houses.
Abu Dhabi TV is the most watched TV station in the emirate. Consequently, The National is the most common newspaper that is printed in English. There are other TV, radio, and print media houses that convey their information in Arabic, English, French, and many other languages.
Given this composition therefore, it is the duty of the Abu Dhabi police to ensure that all the stakeholders of the emirate are protected from any harm within and outside the emirate. To achieve this, it is the role of the police to ensure that the rules that govern the emirate are implemented equally and fairly.
Since 1995, the Abu Dhabi Police has been involved in a modernization program that aimed at enhancing its operations through the incorporation and use of ICT. One of the main goals of adopting and implementing this strategy was to enhance transparency and accountability within the police force.
To achieve this, it is recommended that firms put in place monitoring mechanisms such as financial audit systems, scorecards, performance appraisals, to monitor and control the activities of employees within a given organization (Kim 154). Despite the presence of these systems, the Abu Dhabi Police faced a huge crisis in 2006.
It emerged that the police force is facing problems in maintaining its integrity as a result of several instances where confidential information was leaked to the public via the media. As a result of lack of accountability, transparency, and effectiveness, the police force failed to meet the expectations of the public. According to the theory of organization, communication plays a significant role in the management of an organization.
Thus, with effective communication mechanisms, every individual within the firm was expected to be accountable for their actions and the role that they play in the force. However, this was not the case. The major scandal involved an ongoing investigation where Rajeev Patel, a resident of Dubai was arrested in Abu Dhabi for being involved in money laundering.
After careful investigation, the police ransacked Mr. Patel’s office in Abu Dhabi after being issued without an arrest warrant. In the process, money and crucial documents were ceased. Consequently, Mr. Patel was chained, tortured, and locked in an underground police cell without being given the permission to call for a representative, a move that was consistent with the laws of the emirate.
Following several days in the underground prison, Mr. Patel was taken to the Abu Dhabi Police Station where he was kept behind bars for over one year while further investigations were taking place. It is during his stay in Abu Dhabi Police Station that the story was leaked by unknown individuals to the public.
Jamila Hussein, an investigative reporter wrote an article in The National that exposed the inhuman and brutal acts of the police. In her article, Hussein managed to expose the names of the police officers that were involved in the raid, the fake police warrants that were used, and the manner in which the police planted fake evidence in Mr. Patel’s office to make him look guilty.
The article also covered the brutal manner in which Mr. Patel was being treated while in police custody. To support her allegation, Hussein uploaded pictures that were taken by the police during the raid. There were pictures of Mr. Patel being tortured by the police, some of which showcased the senior investigators posing before the chained businessman.
Consequently, it emerged that the raid was organized as a result of personal differences between the said businessman and rival businessmen in Abu Dhabi. The main question therefore was how can the police be so corrupt and act in a manner that is not consistent with the morals and standards that drive is operations.
Consequently, the main concern from the public was the failure of senior police officers, particularly the Commander General, Ismail Alkaabi and his deputy, Salem Alhajiri to detect such an incidence of misconduct within its force. Furthermore, with the help of ICT monitors, the General Directorate for Central Operations who in charge of IT and ICT would have been in a position to detect the unauthorized raid by questioning the issue of police gear and equipments in the material day.
It is perhaps due to these failures that Hussein believes that senior police officials might have been involved in the raid. The impact of this whole incident however lies in the human resource department. Given the presence of sophisticated technologies, they would also have been in a position to detect the incident.
Had the human resource been in a good relationship with other personnel in the force, it would have been easier for the relevant personnel within the department to detect the incident after conducting internal investigations, and by checking performance appraisals of the police personnel. However, the major problem that Ahmed Alhashimi and his deputy were facing is the desirable action that they would take against the police officers who were involved in the raid.
According to the statement that was issued by Alhashimi, the acts that were conducted by the alleged police officers were brutal, inhuman, and went against the codes of conduct of the police department hence giving it a bad reputation. He promised that the issue would be investigated to determine the factors that led to the failures of the system from detecting such an incidence. He also apologized to Mr. Patel, his family, and the residents of Abu Dhabi and promised them that justice will be served.
Ending the Case
This incident clearly presents the failures that are present in public systems. What do you think could have been done to prevent the incident from occurring? Do you think that senior officers were involved in the scandal? What measures should the Abu Dhabi Police put in place to prevent such flaws within its systems?
What impacts do you think this situation will have on the diplomatic relationship of Abu Dhabi? Finally, what was the role of the HR department in this failure and what measures do you think the head of the HR department will put in place to resolve the issue?
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Kim, Seok-Eun. ‘Balancing Competing Accountability Requirements: Challenges in Performance Improvement of the Nonprofit Human Services Agency.’ Public Performance & Management Review, 29.2 (2005): 145-163. Print.
Metcalfe, Dawn. Leadership Development in the Middle East. New York: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011. Print.
Ndou, Victor. ‘E-Government for Development Countries: Opportunities and Challenges.’ Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 18.1 (2004): 1-24. Print