By Michael W. Robinson, U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service Fellow to the IACP
|Director General Corrêa, Ambassador Sobel, and Secretary McNeil|
|Secretary McNeil, Director General Corrêa and Chief Zakhary|
he IACP Seventh South American Executive Policing Conference was held simultaneously with the Eighth INTERSEG International Fair of Technology, Services, and Products for Public Security August 3–5, 2008, in Curitiba, Brazil, the capital city of the Brazilian state of Paraná. Serving as host was Luiz Fernando Ferreira Delazari, state secretary of public safety for Paraná, whose continued partnership with the IACP attracted over 1,000 attendees to the conference and exhibition center. The opening ceremony incorporated a diverse cross-section of South American cultures and a keynote address by Roberto Requião, governor of Paraná. Representing the IACP was Walter McNeil, IACP fourth vice president; Yousry Zakhary, general chair of the IACP Division of State Associations of Chiefs of Police (SACOP); Paul Santiago, director of the International Policing Division; Heather Ruzbasan Cotter, senior program manager, IACP Technology Center; and Michael Robinson, U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service fellow to the IACP. Two IACP sections held meetings at the conference: the International Managers of Police Academy and College Training Section (IMPACT), chaired by Professor Richard Mears of the University of Maine, and the Law Enforcement Information Management (LEIM) Section, chaired by Captain Eddie Reyes of the Alexandria, Virginia, Police Department. Both sections integrated international presenters featuring lectures in interoperability, information sharing, training, and education. Attendance at both section meetings was beyond capacity, leading to standing-room-only crowds.
The International Policing Division Steering Committee (IPDSC), chaired by IPDSC vice chairman Dave Beer, director general of international policing for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, also convened at the conference. The IPDSC discussed issues facing police agencies of the IACP South American World Regional Office, including a briefing of future international IACP conferences in Qatar (November 2008), Taiwan (March 2009), and Estonia (April 2009). Additionally, the IPDSC was briefed on the significant progress of the IACP Foundation’s Global Enrichment Program, creating new Web pages for all of the IACP world regions, and the development of the IACP Global Policing Executive Database, a new proprietary database that will be used by the IACP to connect with police executives worldwide.
The conference theme focused on transnational cooperation and environmental crime with special presentations being made by Carlos Minc, national minister of the environment for Brazil; Ricardo Brisolla Balestreri, national secretary of public safety for Brazil; and the Honorable Clifford Sobel, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, who announced the recent signing of an agreement between the United States and Brazil to enter into a police officer exchange program. The United States will provide fixed and portable ion detectors to Brazilian airports, along with drug and explosives detector dogs to Brazilian airports and seaports. The cornerstone of the agreement is that the two nations proceed with a renewed commitment toward cooperation and information sharing. IACP South American World Regional Office chair Luiz Fernando Corrêa, director general of the Brazilian Federal Police, spoke regarding police operations in border regions and the importance of the newly established American Police Community (Ameripol) organization in information sharing and the fight against transnational crime in the Western Hemisphere. Ameripol, a police organization comprising 18 countries in Latin America, was created in 2007 as a centralized authority to facilitate cross-border interoperability in criminal investigations and operations.
Throughout the conference, one common message resonated from each presenter and attendee alike: the indispensable need for world police agencies to share information and to work together to fight transnational crime. ■