Ukraine police learning ‘Westernized police traditions’

Tom Kennedy

HPD Sgt. Ron Pinkerton said HPD’s training of the new Ukraine patrol police went many steps further than planned.

Besides learning the SRG routines, the classrooms of new police who were “trained to be trainers” by Pinkerton and his crew also were initiated into Houston policing traditions.

(Actually, these traditions are common in many American PDs. It’s just that the Ukrainians heard them first from HPD).

Pinkerton said he was moved when he saw Facebook postings after the October 2016 accounts of the new Ukraine patrol police’s first line-of-duty death.

“The officers had undertaken the mourning badge tradition we taught them,” he said. “Within 24 hours on Facebook we started seeing the Ukraine badge and flag with a black stripe across it.

“It’s one thing to train them; it’s another thing to train them in the traditions of American law enforcement,” Pinkerton said.

He also taught them the term “the Thin Blue Line.”

“They are learning the westernized style of policing. The thin blue line refers to the small amount of police officers protecting the larger number of citizens – the characterization of those valiant men and women putting their lives on the line to protect the citizens.”

The sergeant said he has a picture of one of the tops chiefs in Ukraine standing proudly standing next to a Thin Blue Line flag!