Ambassador Brewster’s Remarks at Signing of Letter of Agreement on Law Enforcement

It gives me great pleasure to be here with you today for the signing of this new letter of agreement on law enforcement and counter narcotics worth approximately $10 million.  This agreement, and the additional funding it represents, demonstrates the continued growth of our law enforcement and counter narcotics assistance programs.

Our two governments have a long history of collaboration on these important issues. The USG provides direct assistance to several Dominican entities tasked with law enforcement and counter narcotics efforts and in part this has contributed to the rise in seizures and arrests over the last four years.  Last year, joint efforts of the USG and the Government of the Dominican Republic resulted in the interdiction of 25 percent of the 60 metric tons of drugs estimated to be transiting through the Dominican Republic.

These new funds will be used by our International Narcotics and Law Enforcement program, led by Mario Fernandez, to continue our partnership with the Government of the Dominican Republic in key areas supporting the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.  Our common goal is to build institutional capacity in law enforcement agencies to increase overall citizen security.

These new funds will allow us to continue our collaboration on the National Emergency Response System (911) and its expansion to other parts of the country.  Our program supports ongoing Dominican efforts to strengthen the professionalization of the Dominican National Police through a multi-year project in collaboration with Colombian National Police trainers to train more than 600 Dominican police officers yearly.  The funds will also support Dominican efforts to strengthen the National Drug Control Directorate, through training and the provision of non-lethal equipment and communications infrastructure, and provide training for those involved in investigating and prosecuting crime.

We remain committed to continuing our close collaboration with the Government of the Dominican Republic and those entities charged with providing citizen security and combatting illicit trafficking.  The United States is, and will remain, a steadfast partner in addressing these mutual concerns.

Thank You.