U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore Special Agent In Charge (SAC) Andre Watson gave opening remarks at The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives’ (NOBLE) 2016 William R. Bracey Winter CEO Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The symposium, which was held Feb. 11-13 at the Diplomat Resort and Spa, was attended by more than 100 African American leaders in law enforcement from across the country. Watson received the invitation to speak from Scott Lanum, ICE Assistant Director for the Office of Diversity and Civil Rights (ODCR).
In his remarks, Watson spoke about where ICE stood in partnership with the state and local agencies as it relates to 21st century policing, using recent examples such as the agency’s work at Super Bowl 50. He stressed ICE’s commitment to its partnerships at the federal, state and local level while supporting the opportunities for collaboration in the future.
NOBLE has been very successful in reaching out to the community, specifically at-risk youth in the African American community. NOBLE has served as a mechanism to introduce law enforcement to them, not only as a career, but to develop mentoring opportunities and relationships.
For Watson, as an African American leader at ICE, having the opportunity to participate was gratifying, especially during African American History Month.
"I think about the sacrifice of so many men and women less fortunate than me. They sacrificed their very being, their existence, so that people like me and their descendants could have better opportunities," Watson said. "I respect their sacrifice, and I feel we have a duty and moral obligation to honor that by being more."
NOBLE serves as the conscience of law enforcement by being committed to Justice by Action. NOBLE has nearly 60 chapters and represents over 3,000 members worldwide that represent chief executive officers and command-level law enforcement officials from federal, state, county, municipal law enforcement agencies, and criminal justice practitioners.
ODCR’s goal is to ensure all ICE employees and applicants are treated in a non-discriminatory manner and to see to that ICE promotes a culturally diverse workforce in which all employees have equal opportunity to achieve their full potential.