Against the backdrop of post-9/11 community policing, the Fairfax County Police Department has selected its first-ever liaison for the local Muslim community.
Lt. Wahid Alam, who has served in the department for more than 18 years, hopes to build upon the relationship that already exists between the local Muslim community and the police department.
“I want to be the conduit to all the resources the police department has to offer and encourage Muslims to consider a career in policing,” he told FFXnow in a statement.
Alam, who was born and raised as Muslim, says his faith and background in policing makes him a good fit for this role. He also hopes to meet with Muslim faith and business leaders to “networking within this unique community and build even more inroads with the department.”
When asked if the Muslim community faces any unique challenges, Alam noted that many Muslim seems to face many of the same struggles as the community at-large.
“We are all concerned about keeping kids safe from cyber threats, traffic safety, staying safe in our neighborhoods and keeping from becoming a victim of crime. Identity theft, larceny from motor vehicles and street robberies are common concerns throughout Fairfax County,” he said.
Mistrust of police and concerns about community surveillance has been flagged by some Muslim organizations as issues, particularly in the years since 9/11.
Alam says the local Muslim community has strong support for law enforcement — which sometimes isn’t the case in other communities.
“The Muslim community needs to know how the Fairfax County Police Department conducts policing and surveillance in response to crime and dangerous threats,” he said. “FCPD does not conduct targeted surveillance to Muslims or any specific community. Building relationships and being transparent in our policing strategies and practices will build trust with the Muslim community.”
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