Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

Date: 01/30/2013 Description: Logo for Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the Department of State - State Dept Image


Secretary Kerry Kicks off INL Police Week Activities

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Date: 05/13/2013 Description: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis shake hands after signing a Memorandum of Understanding to increase cooperation aimed at building foreign law enforcement capacity at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on May 13, 2013.  - State Dept Image
Secretary of State Kerry and Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis after signing a Memorandum of Understanding to increase cooperation aimed at building foreign law enforcement capacity.

For the past three years, the INL Bureau has made a sustained effort to recruit state and local law enforcement officers, corrections officials, prosecutors, and judges to participate in criminal justice assistance programs abroad. On May 13, the Department hosted three events to honor state, local, and federal partners. To kick off the events, which were organized by the the Office of Criminal Justice and Assistance Partnerships and coincided with National Police Week activities in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the Boston Police Department as INL’s newest domestic partner during a signing ceremony with Commissioner Edward Davis.

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Date: 05/13/2013 Description: Assistant Secretary of State Brownfield presents the Secretary's Award for Excellence in Overseas Criminal Justice Assistance to New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly (right) and Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY). - State Dept Image
Assistant Secretary of State Brownfield presents the Secretary's Award for Excellence in Overseas Criminal Justice Assistance to New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly (right) and Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY).

To counter transnational criminal networks, the INL Bureau has invested in building partnerships between U.S. federal, state, and local law enforcement and their international counterparts. More than 50 U.S. federal, state and local criminal justice entities from across the country are working with overseas counterparts in such critical places as Haiti, Mexico, and Timor-Leste. INL Assistant Secretary William R. Brownfield hosted the inaugural Partner Appreciation Ceremony to recognize the criminal justice professionals who have made the program a success. New York City Police Commissioner Raymond A. Kelly accepted the first-ever "Secretary's Award for Excellence in Overseas Criminal Justice Assistance," for his support of 12 NYPD deployments to Haiti over the past three years. Sixty-eight NYPD officers have rotated through Haiti to train and mentor their Haitian counterparts on community policing, police patrol operations, and crime-scene investigations.

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Date: 05/13/2013 Description: The Honor Guard stands watch over the new memorial following its unveiling at the Treaty Room, U.S. Department of State. The memorial will be displayed in the INL Front Office. - State Dept Image
The Honor Guard stands watch over the new memorial following its unveiling at the Treaty Room, U.S. Department of State.

In a somber reminder of the risks and sacrifices that accompany critical criminal justice missions overseas, A/S Brownfield unveiled a new memorial to honor personnel who lost their lives while supporting the Bureau’s missions. The memorial commemorates 86 criminal justice advisors, police, corrections officials, support/logistics staff, and government and contract employees, who perished between 1989 and 2012 while deployed. Many of those killed were former police officers, corrections officers, support staff, security professionals, and drug eradication pilots.


Haitian National Police Counternarcotics Unit Trains at Miami-Dade Police Department

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Date: 04/26/2013 Description: 21 Haitian National Police Counternarcotics Unit officers participated in training sponsored by the Miami-Dade PD (MDPD), shown here with INL Senior Police Advisor Melody Jackson on the left side. - State Dept Image
21 Haitian National Police Counternarcotics Unit officers participated in training sponsored by the Miami-Dade PD (MDPD), shown here with INL Senior Police Advisor Melody Jackson on the left side.

Haiti’s porous borders, weak justice system, and geographic location make it appealing to drug traffickers shipping illicit goods to the United States. In addition to endangering U.S. citizens, the drug trade in the Caribbean undermines the rule of law by fostering corruption and fomenting armed violence perpetrated by criminal gangs. However, the Haitian National Police’s Counternarcotics Unit (BLTS) is working to change that, aided by a new partnership with INL, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD).

Twenty-one officers from the BLTS began a three-week “Train the Trainer” course at the Miami-Dade Public Safety Training Institute on April 1. The training covered advanced law enforcement investigation techniques and enhanced the professional skills of the BLTS officers, while expanding their professional networks.

The BLTS is expanding and demonstrating an increased capability, as evidenced by an increasing number of seizures and arrests. In 2012, the HNP made eight significant cocaine seizures, including a 302-kg shipment – the largest single seizure in Haiti since 2007. The unit also grew from 42 to 138 officers in 2012, and has expanded the reach of its 10-dog canine component throughout the country, with drug, explosive, and currency detection capabilities. However, the BLTS still lacks the range and resources to interdict narcotics flows via Haiti’s more remote points of entry/exit and along its unpatrolled coastline, an area that could become more appealing to traffickers. INL’s continuing support to the BLTS focuses on increasing its operational capacity, technical skills, professionalism, and improving its abilities to address and combat drug trafficking and drug transshipment into and out of Haiti.

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Date: 04/12/2013 Description: A friendly indoor soccer match between the HNP and MDPD was held on Friday, 12 April 2013.  The Haitians were the victors. - State Dept Image
A friendly indoor soccer match between the HNP and MDPD was held on Friday, 12 April 2013. The Haitians were the victors.

This training was made possible by a cooperative agreement between INL and the MDPD for training, advising, and mentoring international law enforcement personnel. The MDPD is one of more than 50 U.S. state and local agency partners from communities across the United States who help foreign law enforcement and judicial officials enhance their civilian security and justice sector capacity.

The MDPD will offer four additional INL-supported trainings to a total of 74 BLTS officers this year.


Anti-Corruption Partnership in Africa Pays Dividends

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Date: 04/26/2013 Description: Sierra Leone Anti-Corruption Commission campaign billboard - State Dept Image
Sierra Leone Anti-Corruption Commission campaign billboard

For more than a year, INL has invested in a project that places experienced prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in West Africa to serve as legal advisors to support anti-corruption efforts by African government agencies, including Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

The collaboration between the ACC, INL, and DOJ is already paying dividends. In 2012, the ACC investigated 273 corruption cases, an increase of 179 percent from the previous year. Also, the ACC increased the number of convictions by 244 percent – from nine to 22 – over the same period of time.

In addition, the ACC recovered approximately 2.6 billion Leones (approximately $608,680) from public officers and private businesspersons in fines, restitutions, and settlements in corruption-related cases in 2012. In March of this year, the ACC indicted 29 government officials, including the chief medical officer in the Ministry of Health, who were accused of misappropriating more than $500,000 worth of funds earmarked for children's vaccinations provided by the GAVI Alliance, which in turn is supported by international governmental and non-governmental organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, and the World Bank. This case can set a precedent for combating foreign assistance-related graft in Africa.

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Date: 04/26/2013 Description: A gathering of the workshop participants  - State Dept Image
A gathering of the workshop participants.

As part of the West African Cooperative Security Initiative (WACSI), the Department of State is committed to duplicating the ACC’s successes throughout the region. In March, the DOJ legal advisor and INL’s anti-corruption advisors sponsored a five-day anti-corruption workshop at the West Africa Regional Training Center in Ghana for more than 30 law enforcement officials from Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania. The workshop built on the success of a previous workshop held in Sierra Leone. INL and DOJ presented lessons learned by the United States from cases of sophisticated political corruption and how to fight narco-corruption perpetrated by transnational criminal organizations. Effective tools of promoting accountable governance worldwide were examined, including the UN Convention against Corruption, the Open Government Partnership, and other international multi-stakeholder initiatives.

While INL and DOJ facilitated discussions, the law enforcement officials from the five African countries led the way in sharing complex corruption cases and exchanging lessons learned from successes and setbacks in a number of technical areas within the anti-corruption field. Topics included plea agreements and cooperation with criminal participants, the importance of effective systems to monitor the financial assets of senior officials, procedures to protect whistleblowers, the use of various investigative techniques, asset recovery and civil forfeiture.

At the conclusion of the workshop, the participants affirmed that they had much to learn from each other and made a commitment to continue consulting in the future.

Through WACSI, the United States and West African nations continue their concerted effort to combat transnational organized crime.


Empowering Police Women in Eastern Europe

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Date: 04/26/2013 Description: Group photo with U.S. Ambassador Richard Norland and Georgian Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Gharibashvili at the Women in Policing Conference - State Dept Image
Group photo with U.S. Ambassador Richard Norland and Georgian Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Gharibashvili at the Women in Policing Conference

Issues of women, peace, and security are a priority for the Department of State. Embassy Tbilisi in Georgia takes that mission to heart and is always looking for new and innovative ways to reach women and minorities. The INL team in Tbilisi is known for creative outreach – both volunteer efforts and formal programming. For example, INL recently sponsored the first regional workshop for women police officers in Eastern Europe.

Challenges are often shared across borders – which makes sharing experiences and lessons learned across borders important. In this spirit, the INL Section in Georgia hosted its second annual “Women in Policing Workshop” to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8. The International Organization for Migration and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia helped support the event. One hundred and twenty women from Georgia attended the first INL-hosted workshop for women police officers last year.

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Date: 04/26/2013 Description: : Ukrainian and Armenian Officers at the opening of the Women in Policing Conference.  - State Dept Image
Ukrainian and Armenian Officers at the opening of the Women in Policing Conference.

This year, the event was open to others in the region and 150 women police officers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and the Ukraine attended. Georgian Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Gharibashvili and Richard Norland, the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, opened the workshop with speeches heralding the rising importance of women in law enforcement. Each country delegation representative also made a presentation on the role and life of a police woman in her country. The officers participated in discussions on leadership skills, professional career advancements, human trafficking, gender equality in police programs, crime scene investigation, techniques of suspect/witness interrogation, community policing, self-defense strategies, and police exposure in social media. The Women in Policing Workshop was the first of its type where policewomen from these countries had a chance to meet each other and discuss issues of mutual concern, learn new practices, and interact in formal and informal settings.

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Date: 04/26/2013 Description: The panel of speakers included US Ambassador Richard Norland; Stacie Summerhill, INL Legal Instructor; Linda Mayberry, INL/CAP Police Advisor; Cindy Shain, Associate Director Southern Police Institute; Brenda Wilson, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Cathy Sapp, Special Agent in Charge, Georgia Bureau of Investigation; Cori Slaughter, Staff Sergeant Ottawa Police Service; Rodney Sherrod, Lieutenant Lexington, Kentucky Police Department; Donna Cayson, Sergeant Sierra Madre, California Police Department; Robert White, Deputy Chief Flagstaff, Arizona Police Department; and Michael Turner, Senior Police Advisor INL-Tbilisi.
- State Dept Image
The panel of speakers included professionals brought from Kentucky, Ottawa, Georgia, California, and Arizona.

Officers expressed their gratitude for the invitation because it was their first time to attend an event specifically geared towards female officers. Women make up 12.5 percent of the police force in Georgia, 10 percent in Armenia, 17 percent in Moldova, and 14 percent in the Ukraine. While the percentage of women in policing is increasing within these countries, the assignments of women to substantive roles within their organizations are not; therefore, INL has found it important to support the increased role of women integrated into all aspects of law enforcement.


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Date: 04/26/2013 Description: Sergeant Cori Slaughter demonstrates a self defense technique on US Embassy Yerevan INL Program Assistant from Armenia, Maritsa Hovhannisyan.  - State Dept Image
Sergeant Cori Slaughter demonstrates a self defense technique on US Embassy Yerevan INL Program Assistant from Armenia, Maritsa Hovhannisyan.

The participants appreciated the emphasis on the role of police women in the law enforcement system and the focus on assets that police women bring to the table. One of the Armenian youth taskforce officers mentioned that thanks to the workshop, she now has a new range of topics to discuss with minors in her casework. Several local and Georgian Police and Armenian TV channels and print outlets highlighted the event, and the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs featured it on its website.


CARSI Assistance Pilots Prison Reform in Costa Rica

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Date: 03/29/2011 Description: Improved screening, processing, and guest controls at entrance. - State Dept Image
Improved screening, processing, and guest controls at entrance.

As in many parts of the world, Central America’s prisons often fall short of their goals to protect the public and rehabilitate inmates. Prisons are understaffed, underfunded, and improperly managed; they sometimes serve as headquarters and recruitment grounds for local gangs. Governments and political leaders throughout the region acknowledge the problems, but solutions are not easy to come by.

One model of successful prison reform with INL support and funded through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) is in Costa Rica, at the appropriately named La Reforma penitentiary. Thanks to the Government of Costa Rica’s investment of political and financial capital, La Reforma has produced encouraging results: better security practices, improved living conditions, and more effective management of the prison population.

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Date: 03/29/2011 Description: Costa Rican correctional officials visit a facility in Lincoln, Nebraska in March 2011 and listen to Warden Mario Peart discuss the work of the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center, including distribution of hygiene items to each inmate. - State Dept Image
Costa Rican correctional officials visit a facility in Lincoln, Nebraska in March 2011 and listen to Warden Mario Peart discuss the work of the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center, including distribution of hygiene items to each inmate.

INL facilitated travel by Costa Rican prison officials to well-run prison systems in Nebraska and Maryland. The officials returned home highly motivated and immediately started to implement improved practices observed in the United States. Targeted investments in sanitation systems and infrastructure have led to healthier and safer living conditions for inmates; improved management has resulted in a decrease in prison fights and improved quality of family visits; and higher morale has permeated the correctional facility and begun to spread to other government agencies. The Government of Costa Rica reports that federal, municipal and judicial police are more supportive and working more collaboratively with the prison system – a change from past practice. Meanwhile, this program has created lasting bonds and professional networks between prison officials in Costa Rica and the United States.


Focusing on Youth in Honduras is GREAT!

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Date: 04/17/2013 Description: Student receives a GREAT soccer ball during graduation - State Dept Image
Student receives a GREAT soccer ball during graduation.

Smiles were everywhere at Instituto Juan Ramon Molina on April 17 in the El Sitio neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where 510 alumni of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) participated in an official graduation ceremony. They swapped stories about their favorite parts of the program, including a visit to the National Police Academy and spending a day painting over graffiti at their school.

Part of the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), GREAT is a school-based gang and violence prevention program featuring classes taught by law enforcement officers. Seeking new approaches to anti-gang efforts, INL partnered with the GREAT National Policy Board to bring this program into at-risk communities in the region for the first time in 2010. The program helps steer elementary and middle-school students away from delinquent behavior in the years immediately before gang recruitment is most common.

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Date: 04/17/2013 Description: Student thanking the program. - State Dept Image
Student thanking the program.

Parental involvement is a key part of the program. Law enforcement personnel encourage dialogue between youths and their families, teachers, and police. There are now 277 law enforcement officers throughout the region certified as instructors, representing every country in Central America. More than 12,000 regional students have received the training since the program’s inception.

The latest graduation is another step in the right direction for the youth of Honduras. Not only are GREAT students learning critical thinking and decision-making skills, they are also strengthening their community by building relationships with local law enforcement officers. Through the GREAT program, INL and the Government of Honduras are looking to reach 20,000 Honduran youths in 2013 and to use the success of the most recent GREAT trainings as a foundation for other youth-oriented gang and drug prevention programs. By reducing gang recruitment and changing attitudes toward the police, GREAT and other youth-oriented programs are making Honduran communities safer, one family at a time.

[This is a mobile copy of Newsletter: The INL Beat, May 2013]