Assistant Secretary William Brownfield from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, left, and Attorney General Gary King participate in a partnership agreement signing ceremony at the International Law Enforcement Academy, Friday. Mark Wilson
International Law Enforcement Academy Roswell hosted a graduation ceremony Friday for more than 30 law enforcement officials from Botswana, Tanzania, and Zambia who participated in a training course focusing on global organized crime and criminal justice topics.
The academy is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, or INL.
As criminals become international in their actions, ILEAs train members of law enforcement in an effort to make them international in their skillsets, said William Brownfield, assistant secretary of state for INL.
The Roswell institution is one of five ILEAs around the world; others operate in Hungary, Thailand, Botswana, and El Salvador. Along with training, the institutions also foster relationships among international law enforcement agencies.
Those abroad offer basic training in areas such as making arrests and patrolling, Brownfield said; however, the Roswell facility’s program is more sophisticated for senior- to mid-level law enforcement agents with more than five to 10 years of experience.
“The system here in Roswell works well because we can take them out of their normal environment and put them in a community that actually deals with transnational crime,” he said. “They have the opportunity to see and engage with local law enforcement and get direct academic exposure.
“I hope and pray that we have, in essence, the basis for a long-term relationship for decades to come.”
The facility, which opened in 2001, has had more than 3,500 graduates from more than 90 countries, Brownfield said. In total, ILEAs have had more than 10,000 graduates worldwide.
This was the second class to graduate from the academy since it re-opened, said Myron Golden, ILEA-Roswell program director. For two years, the institution closed for restructuring. “There were a number of changes made by the State Department to make it more of a graduate-level program,” he said.
The group’s four-week training included a forum on transnational organized crime policy as well as academic criminal justice training, during which they learned management precepts, investigative techniques, jurisdictional process and more about their responsibilities as senior law officials, Golden said.
Jafali Mpundisi, the head delegate of Botswana, said the course content was intense, but it “empowered us to view the world differently.” He said it is up to him and the other graduates to “put the knowledge and skills we have learned to good use.”
Before the ceremony, the hall of the academy echoed as delegates sang the national anthem for each of their countries. As Golden called their names to receive diplomas, delegates clapped and cheered for each other.
Webster Munsanje, a senior officer for the Zambia Anti-Corruption Commission, said he enjoyed his experience at ILEA-Roswell and learned a lot of useful information. He said he and the entire graduating class are very grateful to the institution and the INL.
“I’m going to go on to prosecute bad guys with all that I’ve learned here,” he said.
The institution also holds forums on cyber crime and anti-corruption policies, Golden said. In January, the academy will train an all-female class of law enforcement agents from South America.
The graduation also was well attended by government and law enforcement officials from local and state organizations. Mayor Del Jurney was commended for the contributions his office made to help the academy re-open. He also participated in the ceremony alongside Brownfield.
Sen. Jeff Bingaman and Rep. Steve Pearce sent along video messages congratulating delegates and a representative of Sen. Tom Udall read a prepared statement in his absence.
State Attorney General Gary King also was on hand. Earlier, he and Brownfield signed a partnership agreement that will enable the Attorney General’s office to receive specialized training and to work with INL’s partners abroad on anti-crime initiatives.
King’s office has done similar trainings with Mexican law enforcement agents. “Criminal organizations work without borders,” he said. “If we in law enforcement stay in our jurisdictions, we will never be successful.”
Interaction between countries is critical, he said, to ensure a “safe, secure way of living.”