morning. It is an honor to be here today with the
proud graduates of the 50th Session and with their
chiefs and colleagues from their home countries.
Yesterday, we marked the 10th anniversary of the
founding of this Academy. Ten years ago, we had
a vision of ILEA as an academy where international
training would lead to international cooperation.
Today, you join the more than 2,300 distinguished
graduates who have turned that vision into a reality.
Let me begin by congratulating each of you on your
success. You have worked hard the past eight weeks.
You have gained a new appreciation of your roles
and responsibilities as law enforcement officers.
And you have also gained a new respect and appreciation
for one another. Although I am told that Officer
Attila Takacs might not choose "appreciation"
to describe his feelings toward certain colleagues.
Officers Norbert Urban and Balint Lauko, it has
come to my attention that you spent a great deal
of your "training time" practicing your
sting operation skills by convincing Attila that
I had requested to stay in his room during my visit.
Several official-looking warning signs were posted
throughout the dorms to warn him that disco music
and snoring would be prohibited during the night.
Apparently, you came close to obtaining an official
letter stating that Attila would need to keep his
room immaculate and be prepared to vacate it as
soon as I arrived.
Norbert and Balint, thanks so much for trying to
make my stay pleasant. Attila, don't worry--I was
able to find a hotel room so you can snore as loudly
as you want.
When you look back on the past two months--especially
you, Attila--what you will remember most are the
relationships you formed with your fellow officers.
On your first day at the Academy, you were asked
whether you knew someone else in the room. Apparently,
only a few of you raised your hands. Yet today,
you are friends and partners. You came together
as a team, transcending the differences that separated
you, whether they were borders, backgrounds, or
beliefs. You have become part of a global network
of law enforcement.
This is more important than ever before, because
we live in a global age. Years ago, our law enforcement
agencies primarily focused on threats that came
from within our own borders. Threats impacting Croatia
did not necessarily affect Romania or Hungary. But
as walls have fallen throughout the world and as
technology has grown more sophisticated, we have
learned that threats to one country usually affect
other countries as well.
Today, an organized crime enterprise based in Budapest
could launder money through banks in Switzerland
and communicate with operatives in Slovakia or Singapore.
A terrorist cell based in the Middle East could
plan in Europe, finance operations in North America,
and carry out an attack anywhere in the world. And
a single computer programmer in the Philippines
could launch a cyber attack that paralyzes information
networks throughout the world, causing billions
of dollars in economic damage.
Geography no longer hinders criminal activity. It
must not hinder our cooperation. As the threats
we face reach across our borders, we, too, must
reach across our borders to form worldwide partnerships
that can effectively combat global threats. ILEA
makes that possible.
The training you have received here will be invaluable
as you return to your home agencies. You were already
skilled and talented officers before coming to ILEA,
and it was a sacrifice for your departments to lose
you for two months. But what you will bring back
to your agencies is more than just new investigative
practices--you will bring back investigative partners.
No matter how much forensic expertise one has, no
matter how skilled one is at conducting interviews,
no matter how well one understands how to dismantle
criminal enterprises, no one can succeed alone.
Relationships you have formed with your colleagues
in nearby cities and distant countries and connections
made here will set the stage for future cooperation
among all nations.
At yesterday's anniversary ceremony, I gave an example
of this, and I would like to share it with you as
In 2001, officers from Macedonia and Albania trained
together at the Academy. Some time later, the Macedonian
and Albanian police agencies needed to negotiate
a cross-border agreement. Because of the sensitive
and complex issues involved, both sides anticipated
that it would take a long time to reach an agreement.
Instead, it took one day. Why? Because there were
ILEA graduates on each of the negotiation teams.
Because the relationships they had formed at the
Academy meant they were not meeting for the first
time at the negotiating table.
There are countless stories from officers who met
at the Academy and who called on each other months
and years later for assistance in developing a program
or solving a case. And so I encourage all of you
to reach out to one another once you have left the
Academy. Build strong relationships with your colleagues
at home. As you rise through the ranks, help younger
officers to connect with colleagues in other countries.
And above all, maintain the bonds of partnership
forged here. I am told that Romania has a strong
and active network of ILEA graduates. I hope those
of you from Hungary and Croatia will also strengthen
the ILEA networks in your countries.
These partnerships are the keys to defeating international
crime and terrorism. In this era of globalization,
working side-by-side is not just the best option,
it is the only option. That is the mission of this
Academy--to produce a generation of law enforcement
officers who are equipped to address global threats
through global partnerships, and who are committed
to working together in pursuit of our common goals
of peace and safety.
You, the graduates of the 50th Session of ILEA,
now take up that mantle. ILEA has given you new
perspectives, new practices, and new partners. I
believe that many of us in law enforcement have
chosen this profession because we believe in justice
and democratic freedoms. We believe in upholding
the rule of law and respecting the human dignity
of those we are charged to protect.
Today, as much as at any other time in history,
your fellow citizens depend upon you to be strong
leaders. ILEA has prepared you for that. We have
an example right here in this auditorium--Eugen
Corciu attended one of the first sessions of ILEA.
Today, he is the Deputy Inspector General of the
Romanian National Police.
We send you out today to be the leaders of tomorrow.
And we are confident that you will take what you
have learned at this Academy and use it to promote
security and protect freedom at home.
I want to leave you with the words of American President
John F. Kennedy: "We...in this generation,
are--by destiny rather than choice--the watchmen
on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore,
that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility,
that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and
In this global age, that is the role of law enforcement
officers around the world. You are now the watchmen
on the walls of world freedom. But you are here
by choice rather than destiny. You have chosen to
serve your nations. You have chosen to join hands
with colleagues around the world to guard peace
and protect freedom throughout the world. You have
answered the call to service, and the world will
be a safer place because of you.
to each and every graduate, and may God bless you