ILEA-Roswell Groundbreaking Held, Jan. 17, 2005

CONTACT: Shaye O'Donnell

ROSWELL, N.M., Jan. 15, 2005 – U.S. Senator Pete Domenici kicked off this morning with a bang at the groundbreaking of a new facility to host more training classes at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Roswell.

A small explosion launched the start of construction on the 24,500 square-foot, state-of-the-art classroom building, expanding ILEA to allow training of more law enforcement agents from around the world. Domenici, as a staunch, long-time supporter of the facility, highlighted the need for cooperative efforts between allied countries during his remarks as the featured speaker.

“In our post 9/11 environment where drug trafficking, illicit trade and money laundering can finance terrorist activity, we must secure our borders and pull the plug on threatening activities,” Domenici said. “That is why I worked to help secure the $5.4 million we needed to build a facility dedicated to enhancing crime-fighting strategies throughout the world.”

Domenici also noted that ILEA represents another facet of New Mexico’s role in tightening homeland security, pointing out that the training given at centers like ILEA and Playas is vital to taking care of existing problems at home and keeping new problems out of U.S. borders.

Domenici and the late Rep. Joe Skeen, R-N.M., were instrumental in securing funding to begin ILEA training at the Roswell Industrial Air Center in 1999. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Domenici secured $7.1 million in FY2004 for operating and construction costs.

“By training foreign law enforcement officials in a variety of criminal justice topics, we are developing international crime-fighting standards benefiting both the U.S. and our partner nations,” Domenici said. “ILEA provides a comprehensive approach to transnational crime by helping build strong international partnerships and sound law enforcement strategies.”

The building is equipped with wireless Internet service and enough classroom space for 100 students at a time. Delegates at ILEA attend classes in criminal justice in the global environment, modern policing strategies, key issues in policing, and global trends and emerging issues in transnational crime. All classes have a strong emphasis on human rights.

New Mexico Tech operates ILEA-Roswell under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State. New Mexico Tech’s partners in operating the Academy are Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, Sam Houston State University and Science Applications International Corp (SAIC).