Maj. Michael Kinlein of the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office and Capt. Derek Parker of the Conyers Police Department, both Conyers residents, returned from Israel yesterday after spending two weeks learning new public safety techniques and technologies. They were members of a delegation of 16 Georgia public safety officials in training led by Israel police officers experienced in counterterrorism measures.
Kinlein and Parker participated in the 22nd annual peer-to-peer public safety training exchange organized by the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange. Police officers from Atlanta, Pine Lake, Pooler, Sandy Springs, Rome and Tifton joined sheriffs from Fulton, Hall and Telfair counties along with delegates from the state's departments of corrections, investigation, natural resources and public safety. They were also joined by a special agent in charge from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
GILEE advances public safety knowledge among practitioners through these exchanges and by hosting conferences and public safety experts that introduce new and best practices in law enforcement. The goal is 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, both staunch supporters of law enforcement, 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," wrote Sen. 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," wrote Gov. 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.
GILEE, a research unit of Georgia State University's Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, improves public safety by enhancing inter-agency cooperation and educational training among law enforcement communities by offering best practices and sources of excellence in a peer-to-peer environment. It was founded in 1992 as a joint program between the university and Georgia's law enforcement community by Director Robert Friedmann, Professor Emeritus of Criminal Justice.