Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Charge d‘Affaires of the United States Embassy to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Dr. Brent Hardt re-affirmed the United States’ commitment to ensuring the safety and security of this region.

His comments came as he delivered remarks at the opening of an Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police on Tuesday December 9th at the Grand Barbados Hotel.

He acknowledged that there were a number of threats facing the region and noted the U.S. was committed “to working with you to ensure the safety and security of this region and its people.”

Charge d’Affaires Dr. Brent Hardt greeting Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Freundel Stuart after the opening ceremony

He said America was actively engaged with the region because it cared about the “success and prosperity of your societies, and because we recognize that these threats also threaten the fabric of our own communities in the United States. Terrorism does not respect national boundaries. Neither does money laundering, human trafficking, gang activity, or the drug trade. We are in this together, and we continue to work together to find solutions.”

Dr. Hardt said that with the cooperation of regional governments and law enforcement agencies it was hoped that a regional forensic computer laboratory, which Antigua has agreed to host, would be established.

In addition there are also plans to establish an e-Trace program – as already in place with The Bahamas and Jamaica that will allow police forces to trace firearms used in the commission of crimes as well as the implementation of a fingerprint sharing initiative for the region.

“The forensics lab is also in process, and we are awaiting only your positive responses to move forward on these other important initiatives, which together will significantly strengthen the Caribbean region’s capacity to combat emerging threats. In fact, the e-Trace Memoranda of Understanding are ready for signature, and we’re ready to sign today,” he added.

Dr, Hardt said that in addition to those specific initiatives, the U.S. was also hoping to continue to develop the Security Dialogue that was launched by Secretary Rice when she met with CARICOM Ministers in New York in September. “We were disappointed that a meeting planned for this week to advance this dialogue was postponed at the region’s request. It is vital to maintain the momentum behind this important effort to expand the effectiveness of our joint security collaboration. We look forward to continuing the technical-level talks on this dialogue, and we will certainly look for an appropriate moment early in President-Elect Obama’s administration to re-engage on this important initiative,” he added.

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