Scores of Bahamian graduates from the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) were hosted to a welcome reception at the residence of US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts on Thursday.
ILEAs were established in 1995 by US President Bill Clinton to combat international drug trafficking, criminality and terrorism through international cooperation and training opportunities.
Over the years, 422 Bahamians from the Royal Bahamas Police Force; the Financial Intelligence Unit, Public Prosecutions; the Departments of Immigration, Customs, and Correctional Services have benefited from training offered by ILEA San Salvador.
“If you look at the ILEA programme worldwide, we have well over $1 billion in seizures of illicit goods, hundreds of arrests, recovered kidnapped victims, recovered trafficked persons, you name it. Those are the stories we have to tell, and those are the stories we are here to share and to celebrate with my sisters and brothers from Bahamian law enforcement,” said ILEA director Dimas Jaen.
For Julia Cabus, deputy assistant secretary and assistant director of the Diplomatic Security Service for Training Bureau of Diplomatic Security, The Bahamas’ 422 graduates are a good start. She said the investment in training at an ILEA Academy sponsored class is “the very least we can do for you”.
She said: “I’d like to come back in the near future and see that number double, maybe triple, because the opportunities are endless.”
RBPF Commissioner Clayton Fernander, a 2010 graduate of ILEA’s Law Enforcement Management Development Programme, expressed his appreciation of the “high quality” training programs offered by ILEA.
He lauded the achievements of three distinguished alumni who have excelled in leadership: Assistant Superintendent Anthony McCartney and Chief Superintendents David Lockhart and Shanta Knowles.
ASP McCartney led investigations of public officials suspected of corruption. He now heads the Financial Crimes Investigation Branch. Chief Superintendent Lockhart oversees the Traffic Division, presides over the RBPF Disciplinary Tribunal and sits on the Junior Executive Leadership Team.
Chief Superintendent Shanta Knowles investigated, charged and gained a conviction in the country’s first human trafficking case. She is the first female officer to lead the Criminal Investigation Department and now heads the Eleuthera Division. She is also a member of the Junior Executive Leadership Team.
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