State Dept. Responds to Domenici's March Hearing Inquiry
CONTACT: CHRIS GALLEGOS
APRIL 19, 2002
WASHINGTON -- A U.S. State Department official has confirmed for U.S. Senator Pete Domenici the importance the agency places on its International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) facilities, such as the one recently launched in
The confirmation came in response to Domenici's questioning of Secretary of State Colin Powell at a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing last month. At that hearing, Domenici sought assurances from Powell that the State Department budget requests would support existing funding levels for the successful ILEA program.
In a letter responding to the inquiry, Assistant Secretary Paul V. Kelly assured Domenici that the State Department believes the work done by its ILEA program is even more important in wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"The Department, through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, intends to continue its support for ILEAs. These institutions are considered as key elements in the international response to drug trafficking and other criminal activity," Kelly wrote Domenici. "Now more than ever, the Academies will play a significant global role in combating not only criminality, but the terrorist elements who often use criminal enterprise to accomplish their goals."
While welcoming the official assurances, Domenici said he would use his position on the Senate Appropriations Committee to ensure sufficient funding is made available to support the future of the ILEA program in Roswell. He has expressed concern that the administration's FY2003 budget request for the International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement Program, excluding appropriations from the Emergency Response Fund, is reduced from $217 million in FY2002 to $198 million.
"I fully intend to see that the State Department's backing of the ILEA program results in sufficient resources to continue successes at the Roswell campus," Domenici said. "I have already asked that the Foreign Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee again designate $5 million specifically for ILEA in Roswell next year to ensure that it is not caught in a budgetary squeeze if we stick with the administration's recommendation."
As part of the FY2002 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, Domenici and Congressman Joe Skeen secured $5 million to continue the ILEA program based at the Roswell Industrial Air Center. ILEA training in Roswell was launched in 2001 using $10 million secured by Domenici and Skeen in 1999 and 2000. Domenici has worked to ensure the U.S. State Department continues to support $5 million per year for the length of the five-year ILEA contract signed in March 2001 with New Mexico Tech.
New Mexico Tech has partnered with Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, Sam Houston University, and the Science Applications International Corporation to begin ILEA training. The State Department now has four ILEAs located in Budapest, Bangkok, Botswana and Roswell. Roswell is the only program that is university-based and offers a degree program. The curriculum at every ILEA has extensive course-work regarding attention to human and civil rights in the practice of law enforcement.