International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA)
With the end of the Cold War the nations of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union came upon expanded opportunities and freedoms both politically and economically. Paradoxically, the same forces that created the positive atmosphere for freedom and economic development also provided the breeding grounds for transnational organized crime. As a means of combating the rise of transnational organized crime the United States developed the concept of an International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA).
On December, 1994, President Clinton, Hungarian President Goncz and Prime Minister Horn reached an agreement that Hungary would host the first ILEA for law enforcement officers from Central Europe and the New Independent States (NIS). The International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) opened in Budapest on April 1995 supported by U.S. law enforcement agencies, Western European governments and Canada.
The ILEA concept and philosophy are a united effort by all of the participants — government agencies and ministries, trainers, managers, and students alike — to achieve the common foreign policy goal of international law enforcement. It is an ideal blend of professionals who craft the future for rule of law, human dignity, personal safety and global security.
The mission of the ILEA has been to support the region’s emerging democracies, help protect U.S. interests through international cooperation and to promote social, political and economic stability by combating crime. To achieve these goals, ILEA has provided high-quality training and technical assistance, has supported institution building and enforcement capability and has fostered relationships of American law enforcement agencies with their counterparts in the region. ILEA has also encouraged strong partnerships among regional countries, to address common problems associated with criminal activity.
The Government of Hungary provides a Hungarian Director. The administrative staff is comprised of Hungarian nationals, both civilians and members of the Hungarian National Police (HNP) seconded to the Academy. A Program Director and a Deputy Program Director are provided by the United States. Non-resident trainers from Ireland, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Canada, Russia, INTERPOL and the Council of Europe have also provided instructors for the eight-week program. The host government, the U.S. Embassy and U.S. law enforcement agencies provide other significant human, logistic and material support.
The ILEA Policy Board has designated the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as the Lead Agency, to provide infrastructure and program support for this Academy and the Board provides overall policy guidance for the operation of the academy. The Department of State funds most of the training at the ILEA through the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL). Some specialized courses are funded by other USG agencies and/or foreign governments.
Courses are selected on the basis of needs assessments conducted by the USG to evaluate both the needs of the target nations and those of the USG. The ILEA program also relies for suggestions about useful training on input from the participating countries. The selection of courses is approved by the ILEA Steering Group. Currently, ILEA Budapest conducts several eight-week management courses per year and approximately twenty specialized courses – lasting one to two weeks – in a variety of criminal justice topics. Participants are nominated by all eligible countries with a focus on nations that are former members of the Soviet Union.
Initial offers of training to participating nations are made through the U.S. Embassies in the countries concerned. Participants nominated by these countries are vetted to ensure that attendees meet US requirements that exclude intelligence officers and known violators of human rights. The ILEA maintains an ever expanding list of alumni and engages in several activities to ensure that alumni obtain the maximum benefit from their training.
The ILEA situated on the Buda side of the Danube in a mostly residential suburb of the city of Budapest. It is physically located within a Hungarian National Police compound. The academy has dormitories (100 beds), classroom areas (two-50 persons and one 25 person classrooms), breakout rooms, a computer lab and administrative space. It shares other common facilities (gymnasium, cafeteria, etc.) with the Hungarian Police.
Overview of Programs
The Academy offers three different types of programs: the Core or eight-week program, Specialized training courses and Regional Seminars. The Core program typically includes 50 participants from three different countries. The Specialized courses, comprised of about 30 participants, are normally one or two weeks long and often run simultaneously with the Core course. Topics of the Regional Seminars include counter-terrorism, corruption, organized crime, financial crimes and narcotics trafficking.
The ILEA has always, and will continue to be a dynamic training program. Providing quality training in an environment of shifting regional economic, social and political issues as well as the challenges created in dealing with transnational crime is key in program development. Annually, the International Curriculum Conference (ICC) is held specifically to adjust the ILEA Budapest curriculum so as to remain current and reflect the needs of the participating countries. In addition, the ILEA management staff, the Steering Group, USG agencies and its European partners are constantly working to expand the existing programs and to introduce new partners and initiatives that effectively address ever-changing criminal trends.