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London’s police chief visits U.S. on her first official trip

NEW YORK >> The extremely close relationship between London’s Metropolitan Police and the New York Police Department is vital to keeping people safe in a time of global terrorism threats, London’s Commissioner Cressida Dick said today.

The commissioner, in the United States on her first official trip since being appointed to lead the department earlier this year, visited the NYPD’s headquarters on Thursday. She met with NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, who had recently been in London and spent some time with her agency.

Dick said the two departments “support each other very closely” and work together regularly. Both departments station officers in countries around the world.

Having those widespread connections is vital, said Dick, the first woman to head the Metropolitan Police, which has more than 43,000 officers and staff members.

“I need to have effective international relationships because crime is becoming more and more global,” she said.

Dick said she was impressed by the NYPD’s use of data and technology, while O’Neill said he had been interested in observing her agency’s community policing efforts while he was in London.

She was asked if there was anything to learn from challenges that were specific to the U.S., like the particular nature of relationships between law enforcement and minority communities and the conditions that exist in a country where guns are more readily available than they are in the United Kingdom. Even those situations had an impact, she said.

“To come away and see other people’s challenges always gives you a different perspective and has certainly allowed me to think about a number of different issues differently, just by looking back to London from here,” she said.

She said London and New York have an awful lot in common, being resilient cities that are diverse, vibrant and popular with visitors.

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