The United States Embassy sponsored six Filipino maritime law enforcement experts to attend a curriculum development workshop on underwater crime scene investigation training in San Diego, California, from July 17 to 20.
The workshop is part of a larger P25 million US government initiative to strengthen underwater crime scene investigation training programs for Philippine maritime law enforcement agencies, through partnership with the Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department and the US Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL).
Filipino experts from the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and the Philippine National Police Maritime Group, met with US counterparts, including representatives from the Port of San Diego Harbor Police dive team, US Embassy Manila INL, and INL’s Office of Criminal Justice Assistance and Partnership, to develop a special diver training course for underwater search, crime scene, and disaster investigations.
The course aims to equip Philippine divers from all three participating agencies with a variety of skills, including detecting illegal drugs smuggled on the hull of vessels or dumped overboard for later retrieval. Once finalized, the course will be incorporated into the training academies of the three participating Philippine agencies.
Through the US Embassy’s INL programs, the Philippine government builds more effective law enforcement institutions and justice systems by drawing on American expertise in combating crime, corruption, and narcotics trafficking.
The US Department of State has more than 110 partners across the United States to facilitate training and exchanges with foreign countries, including with federal law enforcement agencies; state and local police and corrections departments; local and state courts; district attorney’s offices and public defenders; port authorities; and professional associations, academic institutions, and civil society organizations.