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Central American students complete DHS law enforcement course at FLETC

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Twenty-seven Panamanian and El Salvadoran law enforcement officers graduated Friday from an elite training program in the United States and joined the fight against transnational organized crime.

From July 23 through Aug. 9, 14 members of the Panama National Police and 13 members of the El Salvador National Police completed the International Taskforce Agent Training Course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Charleston.

"Today a dedicated group of law enforcement professionals from Panama and El Salvador graduated from our academy and will return to their countries with new skills to use in the shared fight against transnational organized crime," said Luis Sierra, deputy assistant director for operations west within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of International Affairs.

The ICE Academy and FLETC delivered a tailored curriculum that included instruction about how to conduct criminal investigations. Specifically, the graduates learned investigative and interview techniques and how to process evidence and execute warrants. The training was made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of State.

The graduates are now part of an international law enforcement community that facilitates information exchange and the bilateral investigation of transnational criminal organizations involved in a variety of crimes, including: weapons and narcotics trafficking, money laundering, human smuggling and trafficking, cybercrime and more.

FLETC serves as the largest law enforcement training organization in the country, training the majority of federal officers and agents in the United States. In addition to providing training for more than 90 federal partner organizations, FLETC also provides training to state, local, tribal and international police in select advanced programs. Approximately 70,000 students graduate from FLETC each year.

The Charleston FLETC campus is situated on the site of the former Charleston Naval Base in South Carolina. It was established in 2004 and is one of three FLETC residential training sites in the United States.