“Guyana has one of the best security regimes in the region” – U.S. Embassy Chargé
By Javone Vickerie
Nine police officers, three Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) officials, and a representative of the Guyana Revenue Authority yesterday completed their port security training which was held at the five-day International Passenger Interdiction Training (IPIT) course was held at the Police Training Centre, Camp and Young Streets, Eve Leary.
Speaking at yesterday’s event, Crime Chief Seelall Persaud said that the cooperation between the Guyana Police Force and US Embassy is one that the force values. He added that Guyana has benefitted from a number of these projects spearheaded by the US Government where some have been a work in progress while some have
“What has happened locally is that in the Ministry of Home Affairs there is a monitoring mechanism and there are quarterly meetings between the United States Embassy and the Ministry to review progress made under the current security initiative,” Persaud said.
He added that there is a mechanism to evaluate the progress made on this training and how it may have impacted this country’s security situation.
In congratulating the participants, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affairs, Bryan Hunt, said that the programme is coordinated under an ongoing security cooperation of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).
“This course is being offered under the auspices of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, A partnership that allowed us to work together to develop a comprehensive regional response to security issues,” Hunt said.
He added that since the partnership was formed four years ago, they have made considerable progress in a host of areas, from illegal narcotic trafficking to maintaining public security. Hunt also noted that the programmes the United States has created to address these problems have been developed through close collaboration between the Governments of Guyana and the U.S.
Hunt added that the course builds upon those collaborative efforts by helping to strengthen the capacity of airport security personnel to detect and prevent illegal activity while still facilitating legitimate trade and travel.
“As you know, airports are a key line of defence against terrorists as well as drug and human smugglers. But maintaining integrity of this defence requires staying one step ahead of criminals.”
Hunt pointed out that the International Passenger Indication Training (IPIT) course will follow other ongoing collaborative efforts on border security such as the US Coast Guard’s International Port System Programme which has been working with the Guyana Maritime Administration (MARAD) and private-sector stakeholders, to increase port security in Guyana for the past nine years.
Other courses will also include efforts by the US Transportation Security Administration which regularly works with the management and aviation security at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and at the Ogle International Airport.
Also, the joint United Nations office on Drugs and Crime World Customs Organization (WCO) Container Control Programme (CCP) which works to prevent the illegal use of sea containers in drug trafficking and organized criminal activities.
Hunt told reporters that he believes countries can improve on the border security. “Like in the United States we are constantly refining and added new procedures to try and strengthen security,” Hunt said.
He added that Guyana has done an “incredible job” with its “well trained” forces when compared to the region. He said that they will continue to work with the forces here to refine their procedures.
Hunt said that generally the forces in Guyana are receptive, welcoming the training, and eager to work.
He said that apart from imparting training, the United States also learnt a few things from law enforcement officers right here in Guyana.
“We learnt new trafficking patterns that we can use to try and protect the United States borders” Hunt said.
Hunt said that the U.S. is pleased with the progress the forces have been making since the training commenced.
“In talking with our experts, Guyana has one of the best security regimes in the region”, Hunt said.
In a release from the U.S. Embassy, two officials of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency led the course, which shared best practices on processing passengers at ports of entry and practical exercises at airports.
The course included training on fraudulent documents, passenger targeting and analysis, interviewing techniques, smuggling, and luggage examinations.
Officials from Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, and Caribbean Airlines Limited also facilitated practical training at CJIA as part of the IPIT course.
Hunt told reporters that he believes countries can improve on the border security. “Like in the United States we are constantly refining and adding new procedures to try and strengthen security.”
The Caribbean Basin Security Initiative is a Caribbean-U.S. partnership that fulfills the commitment to deepen regional security cooperation launched by President Barack Obama at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago in April 2009. Through CBSI, the United States, CARICOM member nations, and the Dominican Republic are working together to reduce illicit trafficking, increase public safety and security, and promote social justice.
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