By Star Hy
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Regional Security Office (RSO) at Embassy Sarajevo relied heavily on host nation law enforcement for timely information and physical protection of Mission facilities. The Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies is the Bosnian and Herzegovinian police force responsible for embassy and branch office security. It is a vital element of RSO Sarajevo’s security posture.
Seizing an opportunity to engage this essential group of officers and expand the professional development of locally employed staff, RSO Sarajevo’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) special agents and security professionals used their expertise to develop a comprehensive training curriculum, introducing host nation police to a variety of security topics.
As the first-of-its-kind joint training in Bosnia and Herzegovina, DSS special agents and security professionals instructed 100 host nation police officers in skills used by RSO Sarajevo to keep the embassy and its occupants safe. The ambassador’s protective detail presented instruction on protective detail formations and motorcade operations. Local guard force members conducted hands-on access control training, including screening people and vehicles using X-ray machines, metal detectors, mirrors, and itemizer technology. Foreign Service national investigators instructed the host nation officers on security for large events and dignitary visits. Finally, members of the local guard force conducted an exercise focused on weapons of mass destruction decontamination, educating the local officers on the signs and symptoms of common chemical and biological agents and how to react.
“Our Mission is very pleased with the successful outcome of this initial round of training with our host nation law enforcement partners,” said Regional Security Officer Philip Nazelrod. “The training improved the mutual skills, cooperation, and trust we rely on while working together to provide a secure environment for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
Star Hy is an assistant regional security officer at the Regional Security Office in Sarajevo.