Carlos F. OrtizDivision Director Carlos Ortiz of the Georgia Police Academy, a division of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center, has returned from Israel after an intensive two weeks of immersion in the latest public safety training led by Israeli police experienced in counterterrorism measures.

Ortiz joined a delegation of 16 public safety officials from Georgia sent, as a member of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) delegation, to receive peer-to-peer training in counterterrorism, emergency management and other public safety and homeland security strategies and tactics. The delegation also viewed a large-scale multi-agency emergency preparedness drill.

“Law enforcement professionals who train in Israel as part of GILEE represent the firm proactive leadership training underway within our law enforcement community,” says FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Mark Giuliano. “They gain experience and an expanded perspective on many varied issues, security and terrorism-related, from security experts and their agencies that have been dealing with those issues for many years. We are the better for this training and for having these well-trained leaders.”

Since 1992, GILEE has built a critical network of more than 900 law enforcement executives – more than half of them working in Georgia – linked by their mutual experiences in more than 250 such training exchanges. Additionally, more than 18,000 public and private leaders in law enforcement and public safety have attended GILEE’s special briefings on topics such as cyber-terrorism.

“These delegates have spent two intense weeks with each other, forming an immediate and important bond that they will rely on when they come back to Georgia and resume their duties,” says Jack Killorin, who directs the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program in North Georgia. He was with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when he participated in GILEE’s eighth trip to Israel in 2000. “GILEE is a signature program, a singular personal and professional experience that will stay with its graduates forever.”

GILEE is a research unit of Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. It was founded as a joint program between GSU and Georgia’s law enforcement community prior to Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Games by Robert Friedmann, professor emeritus of criminal justice. The program improves public safety in Georgia and the world by enhancing inter-agency cooperation and educational training among law enforcement communities, with Israel a principal partner in this exchange.

“Our delegates have learned how to focus public safety efforts on counter terrorism and fighting traditional crime while balancing the two. They’ve had a first-hand encounter with how to be resilient,” says Friedmann. “They will go on to serve in key public safety leadership positions around the globe, where they can implement this know-how to better serve their citizens.

“The 529 Georgia law enforcement professionals who have participated in our 21 years of training join thousands more who have attended our briefings and programs. They keep Georgia safe.”

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