GLYNCO, Ga. — Twenty-five law enforcement officers and prosecutors from Colombia graduated Friday from an elite federal law enforcement course held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco.
The 25 students are joining the fight against transnational criminal organizations after spending three weeks in classroom seminars and practical exercises as part of the International Taskforce Agent Training program. The class, conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), provides vetted foreign law enforcement officers with training very similar to that of the agency's special agents.
The students, including 10 Colombian National Police officers, nine prosecutor investigators, three migration officers, two prosecutors and one customs officer began their training June 3.
"Courses like the International Taskforce Agent Training program help strengthen the relationships we share with law enforcement agencies around the world," said Eddie Agrait, ICE deputy assistant director for the Western Hemisphere. "These relationships are critical as we continue the fight against the transnational criminal organizations who recognize no national boundaries when it conducting their crimes."
"The training Colombian law enforcement received during this course will prove valuable as we take the fight to the criminal organizations that victimize the innocent in Colombia," said Maria Leonor Oviedo-Pinto, a Colombian prosecutor who represented her nation at the graduation ceremony. "By sharpening the skills of our officers by participating in this class, Colombia will continue to be a strong partner to the United States and our neighbors in stopping the flow of illicit material across our borders."
HSI instructors delivered a tailored curriculum developed to strengthen the students' ability to conduct criminal investigations. Classes covered investigation and interview techniques, evidence processing and warrant execution. The graduates were also exposed to physical training, defensive tactics and weapons practice.
The graduates are now part of an international law enforcement community that facilitates information sharing and the bilateral investigation of transnational criminal organizations involved in a variety of crimes, including weapons and narcotic trafficking, human smuggling and trafficking, money laundering, cyber crimes and more.
FLETC serves as the largest law enforcement training organization in the United States, training a majority of the federal officers and agents in the country. In addition to providing training for more than 90 federal partner organizations, FLETC also provides training to local, state, tribal and international police in select advanced programs. Approximately 70,000 students graduate from FLETC each year.
The International Taskforce Agent Training class is made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of State.