The United States is hosting international law enforcement, security, counternarcotics, and judicial officials from 56 countries this week. The fifth annual Towards a More Safe and Secure World leadership program will see the international participants meet with their counterparts in 16 U.S. cities to increase efforts to combat transnational crime and counter terrorism.
The 2019 initiative begins in Washington, D.C. with plenary sessions at the U.S. Department of State and National Defense University, featuring top public and private sector security experts. The visitors will then travel to small and mid-sized cities across the United States to meet with federal, regional, and local law enforcement officers and public officials. Consultations will focus on mutual threats related to terrorism, border security, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, cybersecurity, and trafficking in persons.
The three-week initiative will conclude with a Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Taskforce Training program at the new St. Petersburg Police Department in Tampa, Florida, followed by the annual Combating Transnational Crime Global Cooperation Conference, co-hosted with the Federal Bureau of Investigation New York Field Office.
The key objectives for the 2019 program are:
- Foster greater global cooperation against terrorism and other transnational crime threats
- Explore methods to neutralize global criminal activities such as narcotics and human trafficking, money laundering, and violent extremism
- Address the impact of transnational crime on the global economy
- Survey the U.S. criminal justice system and review how its principles are applied to international crime prosecution
- Examine ways to strengthen partnerships between community-based organizations and law enforcement officials
- Address issues of balancing law enforcement and security with the preservation of civil liberties
A previous participant, from Spain, said the program showed that the U.S. attaches great importance to coordination. “A key takeaway is that I now have a deeper understanding of the great security issues that interest the American agencies as well as of the hierarchy and structure of these agencies.”