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Official says Roswell ILEA is noteworthy around the world

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From left, interpreter Catherine Chavers, International Law Enforcement Academy director John Chavers, Roswell Woman's Club member Rebecca Grassie Porte with her youngest family member. (Christina Stock Photo)

The Roswell Woman’s Club held its monthly meeting Wednesday at Los Cerritos Mexican Kitchen Restaurant. The speaker was John Chavers, International Law Enforcement Academy director, who was in the company of his wife, Catherine Chavers.

John Chavers began his speech asking for a moment of silence for the four American and five Argentinian victims of Tuesday’s terrorism attack in Manhattan.

“It is very personal,” Chavers said about the attack. “It touches you when you are in this profession and people are lost — it’s a real fight.”

Chavers continued with thanking the club and community for its support. “Truly, the fact that Roswell is the one location in the USA that has this academy is really noteworthy,” he said.

Talking about ILEA’s mission in educating law enforcement delegates from around the world, Chavers said, “When you fight international crime and terrorism, they don’t have borders. What we are doing is strengthening our borders by strengthening theirs. It has become a transnational fight.”

Chavers explained to the ladies the difference between the regional academies and the Roswell location. “This ILEA is the executive forum of the entire world,” he said. “The regional participants in the seminars have a minimum three years law enforcement experience and have to be 25. Our delegates are in their 40s and 60s.”

Chavers gave the club members samples of how Roswell’s ILEA program graduates use their new knowledge during a natural catastrophe when they returned home. Based on what those graduates had learned, their police department expanded and laws were changed. Another sample Chavers discussed concerns small countries.

“They (the countries) send judges, prosecutors and law enforcement personnel as delegates from their country,” Chavers said. “That is very unusual. To get those people in a room and have an opportunity to talk outside of the normal box, they tell us that it’s extremely important to them. They go back where they are dealing with those cross-border issues.

“Without naming the nations, I had three countries a year ago. They didn’t have the witness protection laws that we have in the United States. They were having trouble getting people to testify because cartels and transnational groups were assassinating them,” Chaves said.

“We worked with them developing their own witness protection. The United States Marshal Services has a program where they protect people and give them a new identity if need be. They were talking about this and they said, ‘We are not as large as the United States, but if we have a high-profile witness, what if country X takes ours, we’ll take yours?’ They were working on things like that,” Chavers said.

After answering questions by the RWC members, Chavers invited the women to join in welcoming the new delegation students and their graduation ceremonies.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.