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Diplomacy in Action

Newsletter: The INL Beat, Fall 2009


Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
   
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In This Issue:


 

 

North American Leaders Recognize Merida Initiative Police Training

"INL and the U.S. Embassy Mexico City have organized an ambitious effort to train 9,000 Federal Police investigators by the end of the year."

 

Date: 08/10/2009 Description: President Obama greets a Mexican training program participant accompanied by Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada (middle, behind) and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico (right, behind). © State Dept Image
President Obama greets a Mexican training program participant accompanied by Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada (middle, behind) and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico (right, behind).
Date: 08/10/2009 Description: Recognition ceremony for Mexican Federal Police training; from left to right: Prime Minister Steven Harper; President Felipe Calderon; President Barack Obama; and U.S. Embassy Narcotics Affairs Section Director Keith Mines, originally from Aurora, Colorado. © State Dept Image
Recognition ceremony for Mexican Federal Police training; from left to right: Prime Minister Steven Harper; President Felipe Calderon; President Barack Obama; and U.S. Embassy Narcotics Affairs Section Director Keith Mines, originally from Aurora, Colorado.

On August 10, as part of the North American Leaders Summit, President Obama, President Calderon of Mexico, and Prime Minister Harper of Canada participated in a ceremony with a representative group of students and instructors from the Mexico Federal Police Investigator training program in San Luis Potosi. The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the Narcotics Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy Mexico City have organized an ambitious effort to train 9,000 Federal Police investigators by the end of the year. The U.S.-led portion of training commenced on July 20 at San Luis Potosi, and there are now more than 1300 students participating in training, with 73 instructors from U.S. federal agencies, the Chicago Police Department, Harris County Texas Sheriffs Department, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and other international partners. Included in this effort is training for a cadre of Mexican instructors for sustained future training of not just Federal, but hopefully Mexican state and municipal police as well.

 

In Guadalajara, President Obama greeted students and instructors, including Detective Oscar Seledon of Chicago Police Department, from the Merida Initiative police investigator training course being conducted at the federal police training academy in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.


 

INL Costa Rica Refurbishes Interceptor Boats

 

Date: 03/01/2009 Description: Interceptor boat. © State Dept Image
Interceptor boat.

In 2001, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs’ office in the U.S. Embassy San Jose donated a 30-foot interceptor boat, dubbed “Scorpion 8,” to the Costa Rican Coast Guard (SNGC). While the boat has performed well for the Coast Guard in the years since, it was in need of a major overhaul to ensure continued quality service.

In March of 2009, Political/Narcotics Affairs Officer Robert Andrew and U.S. Navy Senior Chief Alberto Rios teamed-up to budget and plan the repairs and refit of this vessel together with SNGC maintenance technicians. Supporting with a budget of approximately $3000, the inboard motors of “Scorpion 8”were replaced with two outboard Yamaha 200 engines – the refit paid with INL funds and the engines coming from Costa Rican seized narco-organization assets. The Costa Rican maintenance technicians are most familiar with repairing and servicing Yamaha engines, and thus will be able to provide better maintenance for this vessel ensuring that its operational readiness rate will be higher than before.

Particularly rough sea conditions on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast pound interceptors, requiring regular hull repair and maintenance. Therefore, long overdue hull repairs were also performed on “Scorpion 8” that will enable the vessel to be fully sea-worthy once again.

Sr. Chief Rios, an experienced sailor with great knowledge of small boats and their repair, provided expert analysis and assistance to the SGNC and the INL office throughout the refit of “Scorpion 8”. With the possibility of further maritime interdiction funds coming to Costa Rica, U.S. Embassy San Jose anticipates being able to refit another previous donated interceptor soon.


 

Integrated Effort in Colombia Brings Rural Tumaco Communities “COMFORT”

 

Date: 06/01/2009 Description: Colombian National Police and patients outside a medical clinic in Boco Tomo. © State Dept Image
Colombian National Police and patients outside a medical clinic in Boco Tomo.
Date: 06/01/2009 Description: A young girl suffering from burns in a cooking accident awaits medical treatment from the crew of the USS Comfort. © State Dept Image
A young girl suffering from burns in a cooking accident awaits medical treatment from the crew of the USS Comfort.

In June 2009, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) supported a week-long operation by the Colombian National Police to evacuate hundreds of patients from remote areas so that they could receive adequate medical care.

Working in conjunction with USAID and the U.S. Military Assistance Group, INL supported the Colombian National Police in transporting hundreds of patients from remote areas of the Tumaco municipality in order to receive treatment by the crew of the Unites States naval vessel “USS Comfort”, which was visiting the region. The operation is part of a broader effort by the Colombian government to bring security and economic opportunities to areas of the country most heavily affected by drug trafficking. In all, over 800 people received medical treatment.

The communities of Guayacana, Cajapi, and Descolgadera were chosen by the local Colombian National Police commander after three other USAID-supported communities withdrew out of fear of FARC rebel reprisals. However, even these villages were able to send around 300 people to Tumaco for medical attention with the help of USAID-provided fuel and INL-funded boat captains.

In another remote USAID-supported area of Bajo Mira, the Colombian National Police set up a clinic in Boco Tomo. Through the help of a locally employed INL medic, patients were examined so that those with severe injuries could be shuttled to the better equipped facility in Tumaco. Ailments treated ranged from vision loss among the elderly to children burnt in cooking accidents. One young girl, suffering from a particularly debilitating hand injury, was referred for surgery on the “USS Comfort”.

The ship visit provided a valuable opportunity for the Colombian police to make inroads in communities where security and social services are rare. INL is involved in other outreach opportunities in Tumaco, such as coordinating with the recently opened Justice House, supported by USAID, and continues to encourage regular police visits to these remote areas.


 

A Profile in Courage

 

 

Date: 07/19/2007 Description: High Point (NC) Police Patrolman Ken Leonard taking the department physical agility test--and passing. © State Dept Image
Date: 07/19/2007 Description: High Point (NC) Police Patrolman Ken Leonard taking the department physical agility test--and passing. © State Dept Image
High Point (NC) Police Patrolman Ken Leonard taking the department physical agility test—and passing.

International Police Advisor Ken Leonard had been serving in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs’ (INL) Iraq Mission for 16 months when his convoy was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device near Baghdad. He lost both of his lower legs in that explosion on December 30, 2005. After several operations and 15 months of physical therapy with two prosthetic legs, Ken was ready to go back to work. Back to work meant the High Point, North Carolina Police Department. Although many doubted that a former police officer missing his lower legs could return to the department, the Chief of Police told Ken that if he could pass the physical agility test, he could once again become a patrolman.

Ken took the test – and failed. He failed not because he wasn’t fit enough to pass, but because his prosthetic legs would get caught on the corrugated grooves of the pipe he had to crawl through. Not discouraged, Ken was fitted with new and more streamlined prosthetics and once again took the test. With the cheers and applause of his fellow police officers, Ken successfully passed the physical agility test on July 19, 2007, and has been serving honorably as a patrolman with the High Point Police Department since.


 

New Network Operations Center for Global INL

"The new NOC improves GINL’s IT and communications capacity and increases information security and assurance protections."

 

After two years of planning and construction, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), officially opened its new Global INL (GINL) Network Operations Center (NOC), in Melbourne, Florida, in a ribbon-cutting dedication held on August 7, 2009. The new NOC improves GINL’s IT and communications capacity and increases information security and assurance protections.

GINL is primarily used to enable official INL communications and business. Core services include: Internet, intranet, email, voice-over-Internet and cell, custom business applications, and other IT/communications services. More INL users around the world in need of mobile and secure IT/Communications services will be supported as IM Division leaders anticipate that over the next year GINL’s scope will grow to 11 countries and over 100 sites.


 

Personnel Highlights

INL Officer Wins Prestigious Annual Boren Alumni Award

 

 

Date: 08/21/2009 Description: INL Foreign Affairs Officer Tamara Crouse is the 2009 Sol Linowitz Award winner. © State Dept Image
INL Foreign Affairs Officer Tamara Crouse is the 2009 Sol Linowitz Award winner.
On August 21st the National Security Education Program (NSEP) announced its 3rd Annual NSEP Boren Alumni Award winners, including Tamara Crouse of Littleton, Colorado as the 2009 Sol Linowitz Award winner.

The Sol Linowitz Award was named in honor of Ambassador Sol Linowitz. Ambassador Linowitz was trained as a lawyer and became the General Counsel, and later Chairman of the Board of the Xerox Corporation. President Lyndon Johnson appointed Mr. Linowitz as Ambassador to the Organization of American States in 1966. He later served as a co-negotiator for the Panama Canal Treaties, and from 1979-1981 as President Carter’s personal representative to the Middle East Peace Negotiations.

This year’s winner, Tamara Crouse was awarded a Boren Fellowship in 2003 to study Uyghur in China. She earned a Master’s degree in Global Studies from the University of Denver in 2004. She has shown an outstanding commitment to serving our country through her work as an Intelligence Specialist within the U.S. Navy Reserve and as a Foreign Affairs Officer within the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). Ms. Crouse started with the Department of State in October 2006, and currently covers Peru and Ecuador with INL.

NSEP has awarded more than 3,500 scholarships and fellowships to U.S. students to study languages and cultures of the world that are less frequently studied, but critical to U.S. national security. NSEP is unique in the commitment of its award recipients to pursue public service, and pays tribute to the extraordinary contributions made by one Boren Scholar and one Boren Fellow each year with these awards.

Coast Guard Liaison Honored at State Department Award Ceremony
 

 

 

 

Description: USCG Commander Phil Welzant was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Coast. © State Dept Image
USCG Commander Phil Welzant was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Coast.
The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and Coast Guard Chief of Operations for International Affairs recognized Commander Phil Welzant of Crofton, Maryland for his efforts during his three-year assignment as Coast Guard Liaison to Department of State. CDR Welzant coordinated over 150 Maritime Operational Threat Response (MOTR) cases, including counter drug, migrant, piracy, fisheries, and environmental response, and was the U.S. Government’s designated Competent Authority for United Nations Article 17 boarding requests from foreign nations. Commander Welzant was recognized for his contribution to several significant initiatives including the United Nation’s Security Council resolution on Piracy, the MOTR response to attack on the U. S. flagged MAERSK ALABAMA, coordination of dialog that led to continued collaboration between the U. S. Coast Guard and Russian Border Guard, and enabling training opportunities for naval counterparts of the People’s Republic of China. In addition to his duties at the State Department, Commander Welzant played a pivotal role coordinating the International Affairs Work Group to help shape the future of Coast Guard international engagement. CDR Welzant was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Coast Guard and Meritorious Honor Award from the Department of State.


 

Eight Belizean Policemen in the U.S. for Advanced Training

 

 

Date: 09/14/2009 Description: Supt. Joseph Myvette; Asst. Supt. Simon Alvarez; Asst. Supt. Joachim Sabal; Inspectors Alton Alvarez; Bert Bowden; Cristobal Valerio; Andrew Ramirez; and Alden Dawson were selected to participate in the course. © State Dept Image
Supt. Joseph Myvette; Asst. Supt. Simon Alvarez; Asst. Supt. Joachim Sabal; Inspectors Alton Alvarez; Bert Bowden; Cristobal Valerio; Andrew Ramirez; and Alden Dawson were selected to participate in the course.

The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) sponsored eight Belizean police officers to study at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Roswell, New Mexico from September 14 – October 9, 2009. The Belizean officers joined officers from Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Panama for the training session. This is the fourth time the Department of State, through the Merida Initiative, has sent participants from the Government of Belize to attend ILEA training in 2009.

The officers attended the Advanced Management Course which is designed for law enforcement personnel who are designated by their government as having responsibility for vital areas of national security. The challenging course focused on six areas, including: leadership; criminal justice in global crime issues; terrorist threats; technology; managing law enforcement organizations; and crisis management.


 

Educational Program in Nicaragua Aims to Curb Drug Use

The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the United States Embassy Managua are working to expand a national pre-school education program by facilitating access to critical learning materials which could help reduce that country’s demand for illicit narcotics.

The “Segundo Paso” Program, which is part of the Merida Initiative, aims to curb destructive behavior and drug use in Nicaragua by addressing some of the emotional issues faced by young people. To relate to its young audience, the program uses puppets, video programs, and other materials to add a visual component to the learning environment.

INL and the U.S. Embassy Managua have helped facilitate access to the critical visual aid materials needed to run the program so that “Segundo Paso” could expand into new areas of the country and benefit a greater number of children.

The program, which costs around $10,000 a year, benefited approximately 500 children in 2008 and is expected to grow to about 900 beneficiaries over the course of the current year.

 

 

Description: Nicaraguan National Police and school officials readying INL-donated visual aids. © State Dept Image
Description: Nicaraguan National Police and school officials readying INL-donated visual aids. © State Dept Image
Nicaraguan National Police and school officials readying INL-donated visual aids.

 

U.S. Delivers Police Vehicles to the Lebanese Internal Security Forces

 

 

 

Date: 07/01/2009 Description: INL provided Dodge Charger police cruisers await deployment with the Lebanese Internal Security Forces. © State Dept Image
INL provided Dodge Charger police cruisers await deployment with the Lebanese Internal Security Forces.
On July 1, 2009 the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the U.S. Embassy Beirut turned over 120 Dodge Charger vehicles equipped with sirens and police lights to the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF). The vehicles were officially transferred to the ISF during a ceremony in Beirut that was attended by Assistant Secretary of State of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, David Johnson, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Michele Sison, and the Lebanese Minister of Interior, Ziad Baroud.These vehicles are in addition to 60 police sport utility vehicles and 360 police cars that have been provided to the Lebanese Internal Security Forces in the past two years. Together this assistance will help the ISF to expand policing operations throughout the country, and to protect the Lebanese people. These cars will be used for traffic investigations and incident response operations throughout Lebanon.

This delivery is part of a larger INL initiative to assist legitimate, professional law enforcement institutions in Lebanon and is a symbol of U.S. support for the ISF, the Lebanese government, and the citizens of Lebanon. This assistance, which has included training for over 2,400 ISF officers and the refurbishment of ISF training facilities, will contribute to supporting a Lebanese Internal Security Force capable of protecting Lebanon’s territory and sovereignty.



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