Port of Spain May 1, 2014: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) William R. Brownfield visited Trinidad and Tobago April 28-29, 2014.
During his visit, Ambassador Brownfield delivered remarks on “Enhancing Security in the Caribbean Region,” at the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP) Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency.
In his remarks, Ambassador Brownfield reiterated that the Caribbean was a critical transshipment point for drugs entering North America from South America. He said in 2011 the U.S. Government calculated that illicit products coming through the Caribbean to the United States totaled four percent; in 2012 it rose to nine percent, and in 2013, it was 16 percent.
He warned his audience that narcotics trafficking in the region would likely worsen before it got better. This, coupled with a restrictive fiscal climate world-wide, will pose considerable challenges. He advised that dialogue and cooperation must continue to improve among Caribbean nations and its like-minded partners, adapting to change by seeking new partnerships and strengthening old ones, innovating new solutions to dynamic challenges, and taking advantage of the tools already available.
During his visit, Ambassador Brownfield toured the Police Training Academy in St. James with Deputy Commissioner of Police Ann Marie Alleyne. The Police Training Academy features prominently in INL’s programs to build the capacity of Trinidad and Tobago law enforcement, and Ambassador Brownfield hopes that with the support of INL and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, it will one day be a regional center of excellence for law enforcement training. During that tour, the Ambassador witnessed members of the local police service engaged in mock crime scene investigations, based on training received from U.S. law enforcement agencies, as well as a canine demonstration.
Brownfield also paid a courtesy call on Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Roodal Moonilal, senior officials of the Ministry of National Security, Executive Director Francis Forbes of the Caribbean Community’s Implementation Agency for Crime and Security, and President of the ACCP Commissioner David Baines.
Ambassador Brownfield noted that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is a strong partner of the United States on security matters. He said that the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) programs aimed at increasing citizen security in the areas, of drug demand reduction and financial crimes investigations will continue to be developed.