ILEA delegates from Mozambique listen to program speakers with the aid of a Portuguese translator at a welcoming ceremony held Wednesday at the Roswell Museum and Art Center. (Timothy P. Howsare Photo)
They may speak different languages and live in countries thousands of miles away, but one thing they all have in common is commitment to enforcing the laws of countries and protecting their citizens.
On Wednesday, a welcome reception was held for 29 delegates who were in their second week of training at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Roswell.
The reception was held at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, which sponsored the event along with the Roswell Chamber of Commerce.
The delegates traveled to Roswell from Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which are Caribbean island nations; Suriname, a former Dutch colony on the northeast coast of South America; and Mozambique, a nation on the southeast coast of Africa.
The Mozambique delegates spoke Portuguese and were provided with an interpreter.
The delegates were greeted by members of the chamber, local business leaders and pastors. Frank Taylor, ILEA project manager, served as master of ceremonies.
Dr. Lili Johnson, academic dean of the academy, said that many of the delegates had been serving in law enforcement for 30 years or more in their respective countries but were still motivated to learning new things.
Then she joked, “Most of us would be looking for a Caribbean island to kick off our heels after 30 years.”
She said the delegates had already completed 40 hours of “model law,” which is looking at the legislation in the various delegate countries and determining what are best practices for law enforcement within the context of those laws.
For the remainder of their four-week session at the academy, Johnson said the delegates would study 14 different topics of criminal justice.
“This runs the full spectrum that you would find in a university or graduate program,” she told the Roswell Daily Record.
To culminate their training at ILEA, she said each delegate comes up with a project in which they zero in on a real-life problem and then come up with a working solution.
Johnson said many times delegates have successfully implemented the solutions they developed in the classroom after returning to their home countries.
ILEA is administered by the U.S. State Department as a training facility where law enforcement professionals can instruct local police and criminal prosecutors from participating countries in counterterrorism, narcotics interdiction, detection of fraudulent documents, and border control practices.
Colin John, who was the delegate speaker for the Caribbean group, thanked the U.S. government and the people of the USA.
He said while in Roswell he had been to places he had only dreamed about and now considers Roswell his “second home.”