Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – For the first time ever the Saudi Public Security Administration (PSA) is implementing a protective project to shield its members from extremist ideas.
A senior PSA official said that this project was being implemented by Saudi specialists. He said that it was begun to guard against numerous ideologies that might influence security men and pointed out that it is likely that Saudi security personnel are being targeted for this purpose by certain factions that he did not wish to identify.
The announcement of the project came in a news conference held by Public Security Director Lt Gen Saeed al-Qahtani together with Assistant PSA Director for Planning and Development Maj Gen Saad al-Khulaywi. The news conference was organized to draw attention to the PSA’s first security exhibition which was sponsored by Interior Minister Prince Naif Bin-Abdulaziz. It represents the largest exhibition of security technology in the Middle East.
Asharq Al-Awsat asked Lieutenant General Al-Qahtani about the possibility of establishing bilateral partnerships with the companies participating in the exhibition in order to benefit from the newest antiterrorism technologies. He replied that his administration will be on the lookout for every technical development that will benefit the country’s security efforts. He said that his administration is resolved to profit from all modern tools, security systems, and equipment that will assist Saudi security men in their tasks.
“The fact that these companies are staying for four days in Riyadh will give us the opportunity to benefit from them as much as we can for the sake of the public good.”, Al-Qahtani added.
The Public Security Administration requires its personnel to attend around 15 specialized training courses before they begin further training directly in the field when they embark on their actual tasks. There are six security training centers in the country in Riyadh, Mecca, Medina, the Eastern Province, Al-Qasim, and Asir. Thousands of qualified security men graduate from these centers.
Al-Qahtani revealed that the kingdom’s security tasks face future prospects that involve the challenge of keeping up with technical developments that ensure that the security personnel’s performance meets what is expected of it, enhances the country’s security efforts, and achieves its goals.
According to Lieutenant General Al-Qahtani, the PSA is making rapid steps towards becoming an electronic administration in all its various functions. He referred to the steps already accomplished in this sphere by the Traffic Department and the Criminal Security Department.
In a related development Major General Al-Khulaywi asserted that the Public Security Administration is the first government department in Saudi Arabia to implement visual conference calls that enable the PSA director to meet face to face with his branch directors while staying in his own office.
Al-Khulaywi reported that a project, which he described as important and revolves around the idea of “how to make the security man deal positively with the public,” is about to be completed. The PSA assistant director for planning and development admitted that for some time now there has been a certain coolness of relations between security men and members of the public. He pointed out, however, that the terrorist attacks that occurred in Saudi Arabia starting on 12 May 2003 helped to eliminate this coolness to the point that the citizens began to cooperate fully with the security forces in this regard, according to Al-Khulaywi.
Meanwhile Col Muhammad al-Marul, director of the PSA’s Public Relations and Guidance Department, announced that the department will soon embark on an enlightenment campaign to alert the population to the dangers of terrorism, traffic accidents, and other sources of danger to the public.