Commissioners, superintendents, chiefs, directors, deputy assistant attorneys general, attorney general, ladies and gentlemen, may I start by recognizing two particularly important representatives with us here this morning – both here to show their support to local law enforcement in the state or district that they represent. We are truly honored to have among us today the distinguished senator from the state of Illinois, Mark Kirk, the distinguished representative from the state of New York, and specifically the city of New York, Eliot Engel. Gentlemen, may I say to everyone else in this room, I regard Senator Kirk and Representative Engel not just as fine members of the United States Congress, but also as great friends – friends to me personally, but also as friends to the Department of State and to the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. Gentlemen, welcome and thank you for coming.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered today in essence to reinforce a common theme, common to everyone in this room. And that theme is: what happens overseas, what we do overseas, has a direct and immediate impact on our homes, our streets, and our communities here in the United States of America. We have learned, ladies and gentlemen, that what happens in the military world and the foreign policy world, in the economic world, has an impact on us here in the United States. But we had to learn, perhaps, the hard way over the last 10 or 15 years, that it has an impact on the law enforcement world in the United States as well.
May I say to everyone in this room, and particularly everyone in the first two rows here that I am exceptionally proud of the partnership with federal law enforcement for the past 35 years. Without that partnership between the Department of State, responsible for foreign affairs and foreign relations, and the federal law enforcement agencies, many, many good things that have occurred since the year 1975 would not have occurred. That partnership has delivered real results for the American people.
But we have learned as well over the past 10 years that state and local enforcement must be part of the solution as well. And those who do not understand what I am saying do not have to think much further back than the 11th of September of the year 2001, when more than 2,400 New Yorkers lost their lives, or those whose memories are even shorter need think back only four or so weeks ago when, on the streets of Boston near the finish line of the most famous marathon in the world, hundreds of Boston residents and visitors were victims of a horrible crime.
Ladies and gentlemen, this ceremony reflects the simple rule that we are one team in this effort. It is team USA and the team is comprised of federal players, state players, and local/municipal players as well. They are police and law enforcement, they are prosecutors, they are corrections officials, because we need each element in that rule of law continuum if we are going to be successful in these efforts overseas.
Today, ladies and gentlemen, you will learn how a group of approximately 65 New York police officers who are Haitian American have had an impact on hundreds of Haitian national police and thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Haitian citizens. And those of you who wish to see more of this should stroll by my office on the 7th floor of this building and see, Commissioner, the 40 foot-long mural that sits in front of the door to my office, which shows a New York police officer engaging the local community in Haiti, a photograph which I decided to place there because it shows all the elements that we are trying to establish in our overseas operations. Law enforcement, yes, but tied to the community, working with the community, and projecting the most positive image possible of the United States of America overseas.
You will hear later today, ladies and gentlemen, about how the Atlanta Police Department has provided training to law enforcement in Timor-Leste and provided training to women Pakistani police officers in Atlanta.
You will hear about how the Chicago Police Department has provided training in Honduras, elsewhere in Central America, and in Mexico on efforts to combat gangs and to investigate and solve homicides.
You will learn how the New Mexico Corrections Department has trained corrections officers from Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize. And, more than 5,100 corrections officers from Mexico became the core cadre of the entire Mexican corrections community.
You will hear how the Colorado Corrections Department has provided training to dozens and dozens of corrections officers from other countries, including most recently from Afghanistan. And I suggest to you that that training, that relationship, those results do in fact provide a fitting memorial to the late director of the Colorado Corrections Department, Mr. Tom Clements.
You will learn today how the Delaware Attorney General provided prosecutors to train prosecutors in Montenegro, providing them with the sort of education and knowledge and training to allow them to provide genuine justice and rule of law in a relatively new country.
You will learn how the Library of Congress, and specifically the Law Library of Congress, an institution that we do not normally associate with law enforcement, provided an absolutely essential service in preparing us for more than 25 overseas missions in providing us the background, the history, and the detail necessary on those countries, their legal systems, their law enforcement communities, and the issues that we would address.
And finally, you will hear about a federal – a fellow federal agency, the Department of Justice, and specifically its ICITAP Office, which yes, Dr. Swartz , I do know stands for International Criminal Investigative Assistance and Training Program, an organization with which INL has had a close working relationship for more than 25 years in dozens of different countries. And may I say to you as well, Dr. Swartz , that after this event I will go upstairs to our Memorial Wall dedication, and on that wall will appear the name of an old friend of mine from the year 1982 when I was a very young man serving in El Salvador. His name was Kris Kriskovich, a former FBI agent who went on to become the first Director of ICITAP and who did, in fact, die in a helicopter crash in Bosnia in the 1990s. This award to ICITAP today is a fitting reminder and honor to him and the work that he did.
So ladies and gentlemen, may I suggest to you that we, together, this past year and for the preceding 20 or 25 years, have done some great things and have some real accomplishments. There is one thing that we have failed to do from the INL side of the Department of State, and that is to say thank you to each and every one of you. And we are going to begin to rectify that right now.
With that, Dr. Barclay, over to you.