ROSWELL, N.M., Oct. 17, 2007 -- District Judge Richard Brown of Carlsbad told 29 law-enforcement officers from three Latin America countries it is important they rely on one another to combat transnational crime.
Brown was featured speaker at the graduation of Bolivian, Ecuadorian and Peruvian officers from the International Law Enforcement Academy in Roswell.
“Even as our world becomes ever more complex, it becomes smaller in many ways,” Brown told the officers Friday. “Even as the global population expands at an astonishing rate, the human community becomes more interdependent. Even as human knowledge grows geometrically, mankind’s ability to absorb and use that knowledge stays apace.
“If you think about it in a slightly unorthodox way, these are some of the primary reasons that make the International Law Enforcement Academies necessary,” the judge said.
“We live in a time of great promise. Science and medicine are advancing at a staggering pace. We hear daily of new cures and treatments for what previously seemed hopeless diseases and conditions,” Brown said. “I graduated in 1979 from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor of science in biology. My son’s high school biology textbook contains most of the science I studied at university and a great deal more. It is said that human knowledge doubles every 10 years.
“Unfortunately this is not altogether a good thing. For progress is a two-edged sword. With all the incredible advancements that benefit humanity come new and dangerous challenges to law enforcement,” he said. “One need not search too far in the past to find a time when crime was more or less a local problem. Modern lawbreakers are less likely to limit their illegal acts to their own countries or even to a region of the world.
“To the historic international crimes of drug trafficking, terrorism, trafficking in humans, and the garden varieties of smuggling, today’s crooks are adopting technological advances to assist them as they commit their crimes,” Brown said.
“The international criminal today increasingly uses modern telecommunications, the internet, and every conceivable high tech tool available. Today, webs of crime are not limited to a single country or continent; increasingly, modern crooks are truly multinational.
“Just as scientists and physicians around the world have had to work together to combat dread diseases to alleviate human suffering, law enforcement around the world must do the same,” he said. “The International Law Enforcement Academies are an effective tool in our pursuit to remain at least one step ahead of those who break the law.
“When I first heard about ILEA I was curious about the approach the academies use. After attending an earlier graduation and doing some research, I was pleased to find that ILEA-Roswell takes an academic approach to law enforcement issues. I was even more pleased to find that ILEA-Roswell is not aimed at imparting wisdom or imposing ideas on you the participants. Rather, here I understand that an emphasis is placed on an exchange of ideas and establishing networks of people with common problems and common goals,” the judge said.
“As we find more and more law enforcement issues in common that transcend our frontiers we necessarily must turn to each other for help,” Brown said.
ILEA-Roswell is a U.S. Department of State program operated under a cooperative agreement by New Mexico Tech.
Van Romero, vice president for research and economic development at New Mexico Tech, is the ILEA-Roswell project director.
The class was the 61st to graduate from the Roswell academy. To date 2,406 law-enforcement officers from 71 countries have attended the senior management program at ILEA-Roswell.