Each year, tens of thousands of law enforcement officials from across the country descend on Washington, D.C. to participate in National Police Week. This year, the Department of State recognized many of these state and local officials for their contributions to peace and security around the world in a ceremony held today. The Department recognized the excellent federal, state, and local partners that help us build law enforcement, corrections, and judicial capacities throughout the world.
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond A. Kelly accepted the first-ever "Secretary's Award for Excellence in Overseas Criminal Justice Assistance," for his support of 12 deployments to Haiti over the past three years. Sixty-eight NYPD officers have rotated through Haiti to train and mentor their Haitian counterparts on community policing, police patrol operations, and investigations. The NYPD deploys six active-duty Creole-speaking police officers every four months to serve on 90 to 120-day rotations in various Haitian cities.
Modern criminal networks operate transnationally without regard for borders. To counter these networks, the State Department has dedicated considerable energy to build partnerships between U.S. federal, state, and local partners and their international counterparts. From the city of New York to the state of Colorado, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has connected more than 50 U.S. federal, state and local agency partners from across the country to numerous overseas partners such as Haiti, Mexico, Timor-Leste, and many others.
Secretary of State John Kerry also joined us in welcoming our newest partner, the Boston Police Department (BPD), the 60th police agency to join our network of partners. We in INL have long recognized the top-notch talent of the Boston PD, and look forward to Boston's finest applying their skills and expertise overseas.
In the United States, we benefit from the expertise of our state and local law enforcement community in community policing, domestic violence prevention and investigations, sex crimes investigations, street crime and crowd control every day. These basic skills are critical for maintaining safe and just societies for billions of people around the world. Through trainings and exchanges, our domestic partners are helping foreign law enforcement personnel undermine criminal networks where they develop, thereby mitigating the impact of criminal threats on the United States. And, our domestic partners are developing networks and friendships that tie them into countries that may be the source of drugs or gang members who are inflicting harm on our U.S. cities.
This new approach for fighting transnational crime will create networks that can take on the transnational criminals who threaten all of us.
About the Author: William R. Brownfield serves as Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.