Ph.D. Grads Spread Influence in Thailand


Ph.D. Graduates from CJ are among the top leaders in the Thai Royal Police.

The College of Criminal Justice has an international reputation in law enforcement and perhaps nowhere is it more influential than in Thailand.

Dr. Rolando del Carmen, a Distinguished Professor at the College, recently returned from a reunion in Thailand with several Ph.D. graduates from the CJ program. Among those gathered were two generals, a major, a colonel, and a lieutenant from the Royal Thai Police, the national law enforcement agency for the country of nearly 68 million people in Southeast Asia. Missing from the reunion was the current top-ranking alumnus, Pairat Pongchareon (’84), who serves as Deputy Commissioner General of the agency. He was appearing before the country’s National Assembly on budget hearings at the time.

“I don’t think we have any group with as much influence as we do in Thailand,” said Dr. del Carmen. “I have heard it said that in Thailand some of the best young minds are drawn to policing because of its affinity to government and service to the king. A lot of Thai students that came to Sam Houston State University were #1 in their class at the Royal Thai Police Academy. That is like getting the #1 cadet in the class from West Point.”

The group of distinguished leaders included Major General Pornchai Kuntee (Ph.D. ’95), Deputy Commission of the Immigration Bureau; Major General Thatchai Pitaneelaboot (Ph.D., ’97), Commander of Immigration, Division 2; Col. Prapon Sahapattana (Ph.D. ’07), Associate Professor of the National Institute of Development Administration; Major Seksan Khruakham (Ph.D. ’11), Assistant Professor at the Royal Police Cadet Academy; and Yingyos Leechaianan (’13), an Inspector at Interpol and Coordinator of the Sub-Division of Region II.

As the most recent Ph.D. graduate at Sam Houston State University from Thailand, Leechaianan participated in an internship with the New York City Police Department to learn about the CompStat method, which is regularly used in U.S. law enforcement department to analyze crime issues, devise crime-reduction plans, reallocate resources, and evaluate strategies. Leechaianan is now the national expert on the system for the Royal Thai Police.

"I could not be where I am today without the support from Sam Houston State University,” said Leechaianan. “A six-month internship opportunity at New York City Police Department (NYPD) in 2013 totally changed my life. I am still working with NYPD since my internship on many projects, including implementation of CompStat approach and Domain Awareness System in Thailand. I would like to thank Sam Houston State University again for everything."
The College of Criminal Justice attracts undergraduate and graduate students from around the world. The first Ph.D. candidate from Thailand to graduate from was Thaksin Shinawatra (Ph.D. ’79), a former police official who went on to become Prime Minister of the country from 2001-2006.

In addition to Thailand, Sam Houston State University has a significant influence in other law enforcement agencies internationally, including the Taipei, Korea, China, and Turkey.

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