Crime knows no borders. The work of the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) Program is an essential part of enhancing U.S. and partner ability to effectively confront transnational criminal threats. INL sponsors, funds, and administers the ILEA Program, in partnership with host governments and seventeen federal law enforcement partners. The ILEAs advance anti-crime efforts by building the capacity of foreign criminal justice partners of the United States and connecting these partners to one another and to U.S. law enforcement to address shared threats. The ILEAs’ mission is to also buttress democratic governance through the rule of law; enhance the functioning of free markets through improved legislation and law enforcement; and increase social, political, and economic stability by combating narcotics trafficking and crime.
There are six academies located in:
- Accra, Ghana (a Regional Training Center), serving West Africa
- Budapest, Hungary, serving Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia
- Bangkok, Thailand, serving Southeast Asia and China
- Gaborone, Botswana, serving the countries south of the Sahel and parts of West Africa
- San Salvador, serving Latin America and the Caribbean
- Roswell, New Mexico, serving executive level criminal justice sector officials from all countries participating in ILEA
Regional ILEAs offer a Law Enforcement and Leadership Development course, as well as specialized courses throughout the year. ILEA Roswell, engages senior and executive level personnel in symposia to develop leadership skills to address transnational organized crime. ILEAs are staffed by instructors from U.S. government law enforcement agencies that are expert in topics such as:
- Counternarcotics, including synthetics
- Human trafficking
- Leadership and management
- Money laundering
- Women’s issues
- Wildlife trafficking
- Emerging trends and topics of regional interest
Following participation in ILEA courses, participants become a part of the ILEA Global Network and have access to the global ILEA Alumni Portal. The portal provides a platform for practitioners to identify and discuss emerging trends and issues facing their work in the criminal justice sector.
A Policy Board governs the ILEA Program. The State Department chairs the Board, which includes senior representatives from the Departments of Treasury, Homeland Security, and Justice. The ILEA Interagency Steering Group, which is comprised of representatives from these same departments and other federal law enforcement, provides functional program oversight. Each overseas academy is staffed by one U.S. Director, and one or two U.S. Deputies, in addition to locally employed staff and host government personnel seconded to the academy.
Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly at its 50th Anniversary on October 22, 1995, then-President Clinton called for the establishment of a network of International Law Enforcement Academies throughout the world to combat international drug trafficking, criminality, and terrorism through strengthened international cooperation. Subsequently, the United States and participating nations established four academies, serving regional partners in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. An executive-level academy in in Roswell, New Mexico rounds out the program. Over 70,000 individuals from 100 countries have graduated from ILEA Program.