|INL Assistant Secretary Brownfield (in the tan shirt, center) flanked by Dominican National Police, Chief Major General José Armando Polanco Gómez, and Major League Baseball players Miguel Batista and Willy Rosario. Photo by Joselito de los Santos|
Recent trips to the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, and Miami have highlighted the support INL provides under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) to enhance law enforcement programs. Through CBSI, the United States, CARICOM member nations, and the Dominican Republic are improving citizen safety throughout the Caribbean by working together to substantially reduce illicit trafficking, increase public safety and security, and promote social justice.
During his visit to the Dominican Republic in October 2012, Assistant Secretary Brownfield discussed bilateral and regional cooperation to combat organized crime and illicit drugs with President Danilo Medina and senior law enforcement officials. Assistant Secretary Brownfield also visited the bustling Port of Haina to observe and discuss port and container security. In addition, Assistant Secretary Brownfield participated in an event highlighting ongoing INL-supported community policing efforts, where he delivered remarks to over 300 little league baseball players and their families, noting that “events like this strengthen the confidence of citizens in their police, a key ingredient in bolstering citizen security.” Assistant Secretary Brownfield was then given the honor of throwing the first pitch of the game to Major Leaguer Miguel Batista.
|Deputy Assistant Secretary Carol Perez and ATF Deputy Assistant Director John Torres at the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Police Academy.|
In December, INL Deputy Assistant Secretary Carol Perez participated in the Third Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue in Trinidad & Tobago. The Dialogue brought together counterparts from government ministries, as well as leaders from police forces, counternarcotics agencies, and the military. INL Deputy Assistant Secretary Perez and the U.S. delegation visited the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Police Academy where INL assistance supported training for nearly 1,000 law enforcement officials from several law enforcement agencies, including the police, customs, prisons and immigration services in 2012.
|Ambassador Larry Palmer in the middle andS/GWI Chief of Staff and Deputy Director Anita Botti in the white jacket.|
Also in December, INL Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Brian Nichols joined government, law enforcement and others from 12 Caribbean nations in Miami to exchange ideas and share strategies for strengthening the rule of law and ending gender-based violence in their countries. Hosted by the U.S. Department of State Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) in partnership with Florida International University, the Caribbean Dialogue on Rule of Law and Gender-Based Violence brought together a spectrum of leaders and professionals -- government officials, attorneys general, judges and magistrates, prosecutors and defense lawyers, police officers, and civil society actors -- all of whom play an essential role in addressing gender-based violence. The Dialogue facilitated peer-to-peer discussions and also provided participants the chance to observe the U.S. court system in action. Participants visited the Miami-Dade County Domestic Violence Courts for a firsthand look at the U.S. judicial and legal process for prosecuting perpetrators of domestic violence and gender-based crime, and gained insight into the social sector response.
President Obama signed a new law on January 15, 2013 that authorizes the Secretary of State to offer monetary rewards for information that helps to bring to justice individuals involved in transnational organized crime and foreign nationals accused of war crimes. The law gives the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) a leading role in implementing the President’s 2011 Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime, which introduces the new rewards program as one of five tools to combat transnational organized crime.As a result of the new law, the Department of State Rewards Program Update and Technical Corrections Act of 2012, INL will manage an additional tool to combat criminals who know no borders..
The new Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program complements the Narcotics Rewards Program by authorizing rewards for information on members of transnational criminal organizations involved in activities beyond drug trafficking, such as human trafficking, money laundering, trafficking in arms, and other types of cross-border illicit activity.
In order to confront the national security threat posed by transnational organized crime, the Department of State and interagency partners are employing a whole-of-government approach that takes on the transnational criminal threats that undermine the stability of nations and harm citizens worldwide. INL considers the new rewards program a key element in countering transnational criminal networks, which are rapidly expanding in size and scope, as well as diversifying their illicit activities.
Proposals to pay rewards are submitted to the Department of State by the Chief of Mission at a U.S. Embassy at the request of a U.S. law enforcement agency. Reward proposals are carefully reviewed by an interagency committee, which makes a recommendation for a reward payment to the Secretary of State. Only the Secretary of State has the authority to determine if a reward should be paid.
For updates on the new rewards program, please visit www.state.gov/tocrewards.
|Retired FBI Profiler and Criminal Minds consultant, Jim Clemente explaining the filming process – from inception to “quiet on the set” to the final editing|
About the Author: Dennis T. Cosgrove is Embassy Dushanbe’s Senior Law Enforcement Advisor with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) office in Tajikistan.
Recently my office teamed with the FBI in a unique program to expose Tajik law enforcement public affairs specialists to U.S. law enforcement best practices interacting with the media and entertainment industry. The goal of this training was to help Tajik officials think creatively about how to achieve safer streets and communities by increasing understanding, trust and interaction between citizens and law enforcement. While the Tajik audience is familiar with imported Russian and American fictional crime dramas, Tajik-generated programs would hopefully encourage greater familiarity, reflection, and discussion on the many vital issues of police and justice in their society.
As part of the INL study tour, State and FBI officials accompanied a group of Tajik public media specialists and independent film directors to visit federal, state and local law enforcement offices for interactive workshops, mock press conferences, crisis scenarios, and use of social media led by FBI trainers assigned to the Office of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C. The program also included the embedding of two FBI media specialists in Tajik law enforcement agencies to teach their Tajik counterparts how to work with the media and public and attend workshops in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, California in September 2012.
|The Tajik group during their visit to the FBI Academy in Virginia.|
The highlight of the trip was a visit to the set of the CBS TV drama “Criminal Minds,” which depicts the legendary exploits of the FBI’s Behavior Analysis Unit in Quantico, VA. The Tajik visitors, while “star struck” at first, were warmly received by cast, crew, screenwriters, film editors, and law enforcement consultants, including a retired FBI profiler responsible for much of the show’s creative content. On the set, the unique partnership between the FBI and the U.S. entertainment industry unfolded before their eyes. The visit was not all stars and lights - the group also enjoyed an “insider’s” tour of FBI Los Angeles – including visits to the working squad areas and several impromptu meetings with FBI Special Agents.
|Jim Clemente (ex-FBI advisor) with two Criminal Minds stars - they are holding scripts in their hands - and about to go through the many shots and takes necessary to get that final, polished product ready for the film editor.|
At the conclusion of the study tour, it was immensely satisfying to hear the Tajik participants discussing how they could develop their own fictionalized crime drama television show depicting Tajik law enforcement officials as ordinary people with families, faults, dreams and problems. In spite of the challenges that would face the producers of such a show, all participants agreed that protagonists depicted with a steely determination to seek justice in an imperfect world would be of intense interest to a wide Tajik viewing audience. Such a TV series would benefit Tajik law enforcement public outreach efforts and perhaps open the door for greater societal discussion the challenges facing this Central Asian nation.
Stay tuned for the pilot episode!