Over a period of six months, the Illinois State Police (ISP), at the request of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), is deploying officers to the country of Georgia to provide basic interviewing and interrogation, traffic crash investigation, crime scene management, and criminal investigation training to Georgian police officers. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has heightened the need for training and resources for partner nations in the region, including Georgia. ISP’s close coordination, including direct in-person training, will help build the vitals skills and capacity needed by local forces.
“In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, our friends in Eastern Europe are in need of our assistance,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Our state police force is one of the best in the nation—and their commitment to justice transcends borders, nations, and hemispheres. I couldn’t be prouder of our Illinois State Police officers who have deployed to Georgia to train Georgian law enforcement on the best practices to prevent and respond to regional threats. Here’s to our continued partnership and a safer Caucasus region.”
Last year, ISP entered into an agreement with INL establishing a cooperative framework to support international law enforcement, justice sector reform, and anti-crime efforts. As part of that framework, the ISP and INL are supporting a training project to supplement and augment basic interviewing and interrogation, traffic crash investigation, crime scene management, and criminal investigation training in Georgia during four separate missions, over six months. ISP instructors with expertise in these specialties will train approximately 60 participants during a two-week period for each of the four missions in Georgia. ISP officers on the first of four missions returned from Georgia in early July after a two-week deployment.
“As one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the country, ISP is honored to be chosen by the U.S. Department of State for this project and will work to ensure justice not only at home in Illinois, but also abroad,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “ISP’s mission for this training is to help strengthen Georgia’s law enforcement capacity to respond to domestic, international, and transnational threats facing all democracies.”
This training will support INL’s work in Georgia to help enhance the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ training academy and its recruitment and in-service training courses. In addition, it will help ensure human rights are adhered to and fair and equal justice to all citizens can be provided. INL has partnered with the Georgian Police Academy to improve its capacity and the capacity of Georgian law enforcement for decades.
According to the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. is celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations, partnership, and friendship with Georgia. Over the years, the U.S. and Georgia have become strategic partners, working together toward a shared vision of Georgia fully integrated in the Euro-Atlantic family of nations and part of a Europe whole, free and at peace. The U.S. has allocated almost $6 billion in assistance funds to Georgia, in addition to other forms of support including more than 20,000 soldiers trained, and more than 6,000 people send to the U.S. as part of educational, cultural, or professional exchanges. According to a U.S. Department of State official this is a vision that takes hard work, patience, and significant resources to realize. The United States is privileged to support a remarkable number of successful initiatives with Georgian partners, including law enforcement agencies, who are determined to see this country reach its full potential as a strong, independent democracy.
Along with ISP instructing abroad, two Georgian Police Academy instructors will attend an upcoming recruit training class at the Illinois State Police Academy to exchange best practices and help build the capacity of the Georgian Police Academy.
ISP’s training academy has received the prestigious Accreditation with Excellence Award for 10 consecutive years from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. These awards make ISP a logical choice to support the country of Georgia’s efforts to enhance its academy and the training it provides to its law enforcement officers.
Funding for this program is from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
***Courtesy of the Illinois State Police***