CONTACT: Jack Swickard (505) 317-1007
ROSWELL — A small explosion will break ground on Saturday, Jan. 12, for the $5.4 million International Law Enforcement Academy building in Roswell.
Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., will be the featured speaker at the 11 a.m. ceremony during which the explosion will be set off.
Joining Domenici as speakers at the event will be Dr. Dan Lopez, president of New Mexico Tech; Roswell Mayor Bill Owen; representatives of Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M.; and a representative of the U.S. Department of State.
The site of the 24,500-square-foot building is just north of the current ILEA-Roswell facility at 69 Gail Harris at the Roswell International Air Center.
New Mexico Tech operates ILEA-Roswell under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State. New Mexico Tech’s partners in operating the Academy are Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, Sam Houston State University and Science Applications International Corp.
Domenici and the late Rep. Joe Skeen, R-N.M., were instrumental in having the Academy placed in Roswell. Mary Skeen, wife of the late congressman, will attend the groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday.
The new ILEA-Roswell building will feature state-of-art electronics, including wired and wireless Internet service, and will have classroom space that can accommodate as many as 100 students at a time.
In May 2004, with the help of Domenici, New Mexico Tech received $2.2 million in funding to begin the process of constructing the building.
At the beginning of August, New Mexico Tech received $2.1 million from the Department of State for construction of the building.
In early September, the Roswell City Council approved leasing property to New Mexico Tech for the building. The land was leased on condition the former Walker Air Force Base Chapel would be demolished at no cost to the city and the Academy would be built on the premises.
In September, New Mexico Tech received the final $1.1 million from the Department of State.
Since classes began in September 2001, ILEA-Roswell has provided training to 1,319 delegates from 61 countries.
On Saturday (Jan. 8), the Academy’s 32nd class arrived in Roswell for the senior management course. The class is composed of 33 senior- and mid-level law enforcement officials from Paraguay and Uruguay.
Delegates at the academy attend classes divided into four modules: Criminal justice in a global environment; modern policing strategies; key issues in policing; and global trends and emerging issues in transnational crime.
Classes range from discussions on leadership and human resources to ethics in policing and the effects of corruption. Human rights receive strong emphasis throughout the program.
Delegates have a wide array of backgrounds and have included the chief of environmental law enforcement for Brazil, the heads of national narcotics enforcement agencies, art theft investigators, and the head of a police human rights office.
Frank Taylor, retired New Mexico State Police chief, is general manager of ILEA-Roswell.
Dr. Van Romero, vice president for research and economic development at New Mexico Tech, oversees the program.