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Posted: June 26, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Keeping Georgia’s communities safe

Israel police train Covington residents in counterterrorism

Covington residents Gregory Dozier, assistant commissioner and chief of staff for the Georgia Department of Corrections, and Inspector Sandra Putnam with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation returned from Israel after spending two weeks learning new public safety techniques and technologies.

They were in a delegation of 16 senior Georgia public safety officials led in training by Israel police officers experienced in counterterrorism measures.

Dozier and Putnam participated in the 22nd annual peer-to-peer public safety training exchange organized by the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE). They joined police officers from Atlanta, Conyers, Pine Lake, Pooler, Sandy Springs and Rome and sheriffs from Fulton, Hall, Rockdale and Telfair counties along with delegates from the state’s departments of natural resources and public safety. A special agent in charge from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation also joined the delegation.

The purpose of GILEE is to advance public safety knowledge through an exchange program, and conduct conferences with public safety experts introducing the newest and best practices in law enforcement. The exchange of ideas is meant to enhance the capabilities of police and public safety to better deal with threats to safety and security in Georgia and communities around the globe.

Senator Johnny Isakson and Governor Nathan Deal have written of their support for the work of GILEE in recent letters to the organization:

“It is very important that the men and women who serve in law enforcement have all the tools necessary to protect the citizens of our country. I appreciate the effort that is being made by the GILEE program to educate and promote the safety of our residents. You are doing a tremendous job with this joint project, and I am proud that our state supports this very important program,” said Isakson.

“The freedoms and liberties we are blessed to enjoy are a direct result of the courage, dedicated service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. Thank you for taking this time to address critical public safety issues that have a direct impact on corporations, security companies, the general public and law enforcement agencies. In a time where violence seems to be on the rise, your work is even more crucial,” said Deal.

Since its founding, GILEE has built a critical network of more than 1,200 law enforcement officials — more than half in Georgia — through more than 290 training exchanges in 32 states and 20 countries. More than 20,000 public and private leaders in law enforcement and public safety have attended GILEE’s special briefings, seminars and workshops. And GILEE has assisted Olympic security efforts around the world.

“In more than 20 years of GILEE, we are focusing not only on best practices but also on providing first-rate public safety programs,” said Friedmann.

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