United States provides financing for RSS polygraph corps, assistance to strengthen juvenile justice system and make prisons safe, secure and humane

United States Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Brian Greaney. Right is Assistant Commissioner of Police Mr. Ian Queeley. (Willett’s Photo).

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MARCH 29TH 2012 (CUOPM) – Stating that regional cooperation and communication is essential in the fight against the trafficking in drugs and trans-national crime, a senior United States official says despite difficult financial times, the United States continues to play the major financial part in the international effort known as the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.

Mr. Brian Greaney, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean the Barack Obama Administration has injected US$133 million in its first two years of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).

“In November we announced that the United States would provide US$10 million to upgrade the avionics and communications of the RSS Air Wing, whose two C-26 aircraft were initially donated by the United States in 1999. Our total assistance to date for the Air Wing is US$23 million. We also announced an additional US$1.9 million for training for RSS member nations’ personnel,” Mr. Greaney told the opening session of the 18th Annual Pre-IDEC/Regional Drug Commanders Conference at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.

He disclosed that the United States Government was allotting US$450,000 in new funds to provide polygraph capabilities to RSS nations so that members of their law enforcement agencies can become fully trained polygraphers and serve as part of an RSS polygraph corps.

“This will provide sustainability to RSS member nations for ongoing (and urgently needed) vetting capabilities essential to preventing and rooting out corruption,” he told delegates from 22 countries.

Mr. Greaney said the United States is allocating US$1.5 million in new funds to expand the capacity of RSS nations to help make prisons and correctional centers safe, secure, humane, and in accordance with international standards.

“We will provide mentoring as well as equipment and training for corrections officials,” said the United States diplomat.

The American Government is to delivering two interceptor boats to each of the OECS countries, as well as communications upgrades for all RSS nations, beginning this spring. This package is valued at approximately US$14 million.

“We are not neglecting the youth side of the problem. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is implementing an agreement with the OECS Secretariat to strengthen juvenile justice systems by improving the legal and regulatory framework and building awareness in civil society, among other things,” said Mr. Greaney.

“All our agencies – the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), Diplomatic Security’s office of Anti-Terrorism Assistance (DS-ATA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), just to name a few– are conducting ongoing training and exchange programs for your law enforcement and security forces, too numerous to detail here,” said Mr. Greaney.

The United States official said fostering of information is sharing necessary for success.

“Obviously, some of our efforts predate the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative. We have a longstanding belief in the potential benefits of information sharing,” said Mr. Greaney, pointing out that 18 years ago, the United States established this conference as a way to bring commanders of the Drug Units throughout the region together to identify strategies and share intelligence to combat illegal drug trafficking and develop working relationships.

He added that since its inception, the goal of the conference has been to promote regional cooperation among Drug Units and Financial Units targeting Drug Trafficking Organizations throughout the region and the conference gives the Caribbean Working Group an opportunity to prepare for IDEC

“We are also looking at the potential for an Eastern Caribbean conference for the fall which would bring together, perhaps for the first time, a regional panoply of key actors in counternarcotics: police, drug squads, coast guards, prosecutors, and judges,” said Mr. Greaney.

He said competition for national security funding is intense and the United States is providing resources for all these activities, including this conference, out of a desire to build local capacities and give the sovereign nations of the Caribbean an enhanced and lasting ability to confront the menace of transnational crime.

Mr. Greaney said the United States will not be able to spend indefinitely and called on everyone attending the conference to do what was necessary to make sustainability a cornerstone of the planning for the future.

“I ask that we always work as a team in this venture. Coordination structures exist and will be refined. But at the end of the day no structure will ever guarantee we communicate well. Those who will succeed in this multidimensional challenge will do so by forging personal domestic and international links with those who can affect the outcome regardless of their job description – community workers, security forces, prosecutors, judges, correctional officers, civil servants, and politicians,” the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy said.

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