The Budapest International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) has contributed to the democratic transition of law enforcement agencies in Central-Europe, Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér said at the closing ceremony of the 20th graduation year of ILEA on Friday.

The Minister highlighted: the Academy was opened 20 years ago, and was established based on a joint decision of the Hungarian and US governments with a view to helping the democratic transition of law enforcement agencies in the region, teaching a democratic mentality, and training new leaders for the law enforcement agencies. ILEA has accomplished this mission in the past two decades, he added.

DownloadPhoto: Gergely BOTÁR/Prime Minister’s Office

Mr Pintér said: the training curriculum of ILEA incorporates the professional expertise accumulated in the United States. The law enforcement officers studying here have been given the training that is necessary for managing new types of challenges. Social changes pose new challenges to law enforcement agencies daily, and students are always given adequate answers to those challenges at ILEA, he said. The Minister added: the Academy is characterised by a high degree of flexibility and is thus able to keep track of the technological and social developments in crime investigation.

The Minister emphasised the importance of cross-border crime investigation which, in his view, provides firms foundations for European and Euro-Atlantic cooperation.

Mr Pintér takes the view that ILEA is a reputable institution, and attending the Academy is a privilege which earns recognition. He reiterated: 68 of former alumni from ten Central-European countries who have studied here in the past ten years have become national leaders of crime investigation in their respective countries, and there are also ministers among them.

The Minister told the students who have just graduated that they should make good use of the relations they built in the institution in order to achieve the best possible results in their homeland.

DownloadPhoto: Gergely BOTÁR/Prime Minister’s Office

US Ambassador to Budapest Colleen Bell stressed: ILEA is extremely important for the United States, Hungary and the entire international community. In today’s world, crime has become global, geographical distances are no longer an obstacle for criminals. We must therefore achieve that neither should they be an obstacle to crime investigation, she said, highlighting the significance of cooperation.

The diplomat pointed out: students studying at ILEA help to make the world a safer place. With programmes similar to ILEA, the United States proudly makes major investments in order to prepare law enforcement officers for the fight against cross-border crime, she said.

Mrs Bell takes the view that the maintenance of the Academy is a model example of bilateral cooperation, and the United States is grateful to Hungary for hosting ILEA.

The Ambassador conveyed the following message to the graduating students: it is time now for them to use the knowledge they have acquired here upon returning to their native countries.

William R. Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs at the US Department of State, too, highlighted in his speech that threats have not been eliminated in the past two decades, and as criminals cooperate throughout the world, law enforcement agencies must likewise unite their efforts.

He reiterated: ILEA was set up in 1995 to enable law enforcement agencies through the training provided here to give effective answers to the new challenges.

The Assistant Secretary of State told the students who have recently graduated from the Academy that some 55 thousand students have studied at similar institutions, 21 thousand of them at the Budapest Academy. It is a great deal of help for the students that they have become part of such an enormous network, he said.

(Ministry of Interior/MTI)