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TOP STORY: Law enforcement leaders gather for public safety roundtable

Law enforcement leaders gather for public safety roundtable
Law enforcement leaders gather for public safety roundtable

Last week, more than 40 law enforcement leaders from across the country came together for ICE’s first "Partnerships and Public Safety Roundtable," an ICE Office of State, Local, and Tribal Coordination (OSLTC)-sponsored event that provided a forum for comprehensive discussions on the benefits of local agencies partnering with ICE.

Roundtable attendees included law enforcement leaders from throughout the country, as well as representatives from national law enforcement organizations and ICE senior leadership.

The purpose of this meeting was threefold: to enhance ICE partnerships with an ongoing dialogue by sharing lessons learned and discussing the current and future challenges facing each organization involved; to identify specific ways that ICE can educate the public about the impact partnership efforts have on public safety in communities across the country; and, lastly, for ICE and its DHS partners to listen to state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners on how they can do their job better and further enhance the shared mission of protecting public safety.

"Local, state and tribal law enforcement officers are critical to helping ICE achieve its public safety mission," said ICE Director John Morton. "All you have to do is look at the enforcement results to see how our partnerships are impacting public safety around the country. Together, we will continue our unwavering commitment to keep Americans safe."

International Association of Chiefs of Police President Mark A. Marshall was complimentary in his remarks towards ICE, stating that the removal of criminal aliens who have committed serious criminal offenses is imperative to keeping local communities safe. The National Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Sheriff (ret.) Aaron Kennard also noted that the collaboration among federal, state, and local law enforcement is a key component to preserving the safety and security of communities nationwide.

Over the past several years, ICE has nurtured strong collaborative partnerships with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies through a variety of task forces, cooperative investigations, training programs and information-sharing agreements; including programs to find and remove criminal aliens, transnational criminal street gang task forces, human smuggling and trafficking task forces, Border Enforcement Security Task Forces, and various other task forces targeting individuals and criminal organizations that sexually exploit children.

These partnerships have become particularly important as criminal organizations have continued to grow more sophisticated, complex and global in nature. Task forces like the ones above enable ICE to create a seamless web of border enforcement and a united front to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations. With the help of its partnerships and public safety programs, in FY2011 to date ICE has already removed more than 215,900 aliens, 51 percent of whom had criminal convictions.

Learn more about ICE's OSLTC.