The work of the five ILEAs sponsored, funded, and administered by INL is an important part of the interagency U.S. effort to combat international crime. The ILEAs advance the anti-crime effort through building the capacity of foreign criminal justice partners of the United States.
The training provided through ILEAs is a proven, effective method for expanding the skills of partner-nation law enforcement affairs, fostering partnerships across national borders within important regions of the world, and improving partner nations’ relationships with American law enforcement agencies. Crime knows no borders and the work of the ILEAs is an essential part of enhancing our ability to effectively confront transnational criminal threats.
The five ILEAs are located in:
- Budapest, Hungary, serving Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia
- Bangkok, Thailand, serving Southeast Asia and China
- Gaborone, Botswana, serving the countries south of the Sahel and parts of West Africa (supports a West Africa-focused regional training center in Accra, Ghana)
- San Salvador, serving Latin America and the Caribbean
- serving all countries worldwide that send officers to ILEAs
Over 60,000 individuals from 85 countries have graduated from ILEAs over the past 20 years.
Since 1995 the program has continued to grow, and today there are more than 4,500 graduates from the ILEA program annually. Read about the history of the ILEA program here.
Regional ILEAs offer a six-week Law Enforcement and Leadership Development course as well as specialized courses throughout the year. ILEA are staffed by instructors from U.S. government law enforcement agencies that are expert in topics such as:
- Leadership and management
- Criminal investigations
- Responding to bias-motivated crimes (hate crimes)
- Corruption and financial crimes
- Women’s issues
- Human trafficking
- Wildlife trafficking
- Emerging trends and topics of regional interest
The ILEA program is funded and administered by INL. Governance is provided by a Policy Board chaired by the State Department and including senior representatives from the Departments of Treasury, Homeland Security, and Justice. The ILEA Interagency Steering Group, which is comprised of representatives from these departments, provides functional program oversight. Each overseas academy is staffed by one U.S. Director, and one or two U.S. Deputies, in addition to locally employed staff and host government personnel seconded to the academy.
Statement of Purpose
Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly at its 50th Anniversary on October 22, 1995, then-President Clinton called for the establishment of a network of International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEAs) throughout the world to combat international drug trafficking, criminality, and terrorism through strengthened international cooperation.
Now, years later, the United States and participating nations have moved ahead with the establishment of ILEAs to serve four regions: Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. The United States also supports an executive level policy focused academy in Roswell, NM.
Depending on regional needs and United States national interests, we are prepared to consider establishing similar ILEAs elsewhere. We would seek a host country that enjoys political stability, has the ability to provide adequate infrastructure and is willing to share costs and responsibilities. The host government should also be able to provide a suitable site, easily accessible by reliable transportation links.
The ILEAs serve a broad range of foreign policy and law enforcement purposes for the United States and for the world. In addition to helping protect American citizens and businesses through strengthened international cooperation against crime, the ILEAs’ mission is to buttress democratic governance through the rule of law; enhance the functioning of free markets through improved legislation and law enforcement; and increase social, political, and economic stability by combating narcotics trafficking and crime.
To reach these goals, the ILEAs conduct activities designed to realize the following objectives:
- Support regional and local criminal justice institution building and law enforcement.
- Facilitate strengthened partnerships among countries in regions served by the ILEAs aimed at addressing problems of drugs and crime.
- Provide high-quality training and technical assistance in formulating strategies and tactics for foreign law enforcement personnel.
- Improve coordination, foster cooperation, and, as appropriate, facilitate harmonization of law enforcement activities within regions, in a manner compatible with U.S. interests.
- Foster cooperation by foreign law enforcement authorities with U.S. law enforcement entities engaged in organized crime and other criminal investigations.
- Assist foreign law enforcement entities in the professionalization of their forces in a cost-effective manner.
- Build linkages between U.S. law enforcement entities and future criminal justice leadership in participating countries, and among regional participants with one another.