Remarks at CARIBBEAN BASIN SECURITY INITIATIVE (CBSI) Law Enforcement Technical Working Group: Advancing Regional Training Efforts
Mr. Stephen Williams, Acting Commissioner of Police, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service
Mr. Earl Harris, Assistant Director, Strategic Services, CARICOM IMPACS
General Orison Olivence Minaya, Education Directorate, Government of the Dominican Republic
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good morning. It is my great pleasure to join all of you in the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative Law Enforcement Technical Working Group. Welcome to all the international and regional participants.
My name is John McIntyre and I am the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy, which is just a fancy French word for acting chief of the diplomatic mission here. The Embassy works very closely with the Government and the people of Trinidad and Tobago on a wide range of programs, all focused on three basic strategic goals: Security, Commerce, and Governance—basically helping make the people of both our countries safer and more prosperous.
Security is a priority, particularly because of the close ties between the U.S. and Trinidad and Tobago. When we partner with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago on security issues, we are looking to make this country, and our own, more secure by fighting transnational crime, trafficking, extremism, natural disasters, and other threats that can affect us all.
We have a great team here at the Embassy, and one of our true stars is Dina Abaa-Ogley, who is responsible for the CBSI portfolio, and has done a tremendous job on a wide range of issues. She deserves the credit for our strong partnership with CBSI, and related programs.
Okay. Please bear with me now while I recite a bunch of facts and numbers—they’re actually really important, because they show how much we are doing. Not just the Embassy, but us together as partners and friends.
The Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, or CBSI, is a partnership between the United States, CARICOM Member States, and the Dominican Republic to improve citizen safety throughout the Caribbean by substantially reducing illicit trafficking, increasing public safety and security, and promoting social justice. Established in 2010, CBSI has received $441M in U.S. foreign assistance resources to date (FY2010-FY2016) to support efforts to combat the drug trade and other transnational crimes threatening the region. The U.S. International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau administers approximately $200M of that total in narcotics control and law enforcement funds, which strengthen law enforcement capabilities; counter illicit drug flows; combat transnational crime; and promote the rule of law.
This Technical Working Group brings together law enforcement colleagues from all CBSI-partner nations to explore areas for cooperation and joint in-person training, share best training practices, and discuss ways to take full advantage of the CBSI-Connect online training system.
Trinidad and Tobago continues to be a strong partner of the United States on security matters.
As Trinidad is the home of CARICOM IMPACS and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Academy is a training model for the region, Trinidad is an ideal location to host this conference.
The TT Police Academy has established itself as a regional law enforcement training center of excellence. The training programs delivered at the Academy have been instrumental in many of the successes in Trinidad and Tobago. The capture and charging of 11 high profile criminals here in Trinidad was a direct result of gang investigations and digital evidence training. The rescue of two young women held captive by a wanted murderer was a direct result of criminal investigations and interview and interrogation training. These are the type of successes we want to extend throughout the region through the CBSI-Connect system.
The INL funded CBSI-Connect training portal now links 14 law enforcement academies, and has saved over $1.1 million dollars in travel costs.
Together, we aim to strengthen the security of citizens in the areas of social justice, counter-narcotics, youth development, and police professionalization.
Together, we continue to collaborate on solutions to instill public trust and confidence in the police service.
We look forward to our continued collaboration, the continued strengthening of our mutual relationship, and the capacity building of all entities involved in ensuring the safety and security of the Caribbean.
Now I will stop talking, and you all can get to work.