Over the last few years, the concept of security has completed shifted due to the evolution of terrorism alongside the operations of global criminal networks and the role of local police forces.
In a country like Jordan, reforms of the security system should be based on a clear understanding of the nature of the threats and of the need to face them.
Reform of the security system should be systematic, with a long-term strategy that takes into consideration the changes and challenges the country is facing. Moreover, new security and political challenges require a new, systematic, strategic approach to national security that can provide effective and efficient tools to protect and foster a stronger society.
The major challenge remains securing the internal stability of the country. At a time when terrorism and criminality pose a continuous threat, it is imperative to ensure that security services have the capability to identify and address the complexity of such threats but, at the same time, enhance the level of professionalism and discipline in dealing with domestic issues.
Security forces, especially police, are on the frontline and interacting with citizens daily; they are expected to maintain order and address criminality. This requires ongoing training in communication skills and continuous enhancement of the capacity and capability of security personnel, as criminal tactics evolve and citizens expect a more modern police service.
Improving the behavior and capability of the security apparatus to communicate with and deliver messages to citizens should be top of any national security agenda. This should entail having competent staff to manage communication, including through the media, to inspire confidence in people and help create the sense of safety, as well as to be a credible source of information for citizens.
It is important to deal with social matters, violence, and criminality the way Jordan has been dealing with the challenge of countering terrorism.
Professionalism, discipline, and cultural understanding of the problems must be the pillars of any strategy to face these growing risks; they can be built simply through keeping up professional standards, empathy, and treating all people with respect.
It is important to maintain people’s trust in the security system, to restore their respect for the police, mainly frontline officers. It is obligatory to keep in mind that “good policing” entails enforcing the law fairly, and that part of policing may cause incidents that could escalate into violence. Therefore, fast intervention to fix mistakes — bad behavior, abuse of power, or failure in carrying out one’s duty — is crucial.
The relation between citizens and police is a very important issue, particularly at a time when people are passing through difficult times, psychologically and economically because of the pandemic and the difficult situation, which increases the level of frustration to a point where simple incidents can trigger larger problems.