Ambassador William R. Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding today with the Port of Long Beach in California to enhance the Department’s maritime and port security assistance in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
Under this partnership, one of many that INL has concluded with state- and local-level justice and law enforcement entities nationwide and only the third with a seaport, the expertise of the Port of Long Beach will be put to work helping partner nations improve border security in the face of sophisticated criminal threats. The Port of Long Beach is one of the premier ports in the United States, with a dedicated Harbor Patrol that operates round-the-clock camera surveillance, mobile underwater sonar, an expert dive team, and explosive detectors in order to maintain vigilant protection of Port facilities and operations.
With their detailed understanding of security procedures at one of the largest cargo ports in the United States, Port personnel are uniquely suited to provide expert mentoring and training to foreign counterparts seeking to more effectively counter criminal and security threats. This partnership also stands to benefit the Port of Long Beach, by providing opportunities to establish new foreign contacts, gain valuable overseas experience, and adopt a more international approach to combating transnational crime.
This new relationship with the Port of Long Beach is INL’s third port partnership. It builds on the Bureau’s existing work with Port Miami and the Port of San Diego to provide port and maritime security assistance.