Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and Ambassador William R. Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), today signed a partnership agreement in which Rhode Island will provide prosecutorial training to foreign partners to enhance their law enforcement and justice sector capabilities. The signing took place in New Orleans, LA where Attorney General Kilmartin was attending the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) meeting.
The partnership is part of the Department of State's multi-faceted response to international criminal threats and enables INL to utilize the knowledge and expertise of prosecutors to train, advise and mentor foreign officials as part of the State Department's foreign assistance program. Rhode Island is only the third state attorney general office to sign such an agreement with INL. The other two states are Delaware and New Mexico.
When requested by the Department of State, and with the approval of the Attorney General, prosecutors from Rhode Island will be deployed to identified countries to train or advise on a multitude of topics ranging from transnational crime to professional responsibility. The Department of State will cover all costs related to deploying personnel from the Office overseas.
"First and foremost, this partnership is a testament to the excellence of the prosecutors in this office. Each and every day, they work with law enforcement to assess and build cases that lead to successful prosecution, and have earned a reputation as some of the best prosecutors in the nation who are sought out for their expertise," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "This is also an opportunity for us to develop relationships in foreign communities that may impact transnational crime. We live in a global, interactive world which has opened up new opportunities for criminal organizations and created new challenges in investigation and prosecution. To combat the growing threat of transnational criminal organizations, we too must reach across borders to share information and best practices."
"We are pleased to welcome Attorney General Kilmartin and Rhode Island's prosecutors as our newest partner. Through this partnership, the State Department will be able to call upon some of the nation's best and brightest to represent American values and the rule of law around the world," said Ambassador Brownfield. "AG Kilmartin and his staff will be able to develop a network of international connections on drug-related issues, on gang-related issues, on money laundering and financial crime-related issues – connections that will have an impact on the streets of Providence and the other cities and communities of Rhode Island for years to come."
Attorney General Kilmartin and the State Department began working on this partnership in August when Rhode Island hosted the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) in Providence for a two-day conference that covered best practices for several international law enforcement and prosecution issues, including human trafficking, intellectual property theft, cybercrime and weapons and drug trafficking. Kilmartin serves as the NAAG representative to the IAP.