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Security officers sharpen skills in US

BY: Emelia Ennin Abbey
Border management training
Border management training

Thirteen Ghanaian security officers have completed a training programme in the United States of America (USA) aimed at advancing Ghana's Integrated Border Management (IBM) agenda under the Ghana-US coordinated Security Governance Initiative (SGI).

The participants were selected from the four main security agencies involved in Ghana's border management, namely the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (CD-GRA), the Ghana Police Service and the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC).

It was sponsored by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of International Affairs in coordination with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law (INL) Enforcement Affairs, Ghana.

As part of the training, the team toured a simulated airport at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centres (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia, which mimicked the technology used at most airports and observed practical sessions on how to arrest and handcuff suspects.

The trainees also visited the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston to observe CBP Operations at the port where they studied the operations of the K9 section, the plant and agriculture sections and the Airport’s laboratory.

The team observed the use of dogs trained to detect currency, narcotics, fruits and weapons with some members of the delegation taking part in a demonstration by holding pre-packed bags for the demonstration.

The team was also taken through the Houston Tactical Terrorism Response Team (TTRT) created in 2016 to deal with terrorism, money laundering, counter-terrorism and related matters.

They also received on-site presentations on agricultural and other items prohibited from entering the USA and the economic, security, health and legal reasons for their prohibition.

The team also visited the port’s laboratory where agricultural products were examined for pests, among other things.

The delegation visited the world’s largest port on the Gulf Coast, Houston Seaport and they were taken through the structure and examination processes at the port.

Houston Seaport is the number one port in the USA and the seventh largest port for arriving containers, as well as the largest petrochemical complex in the US.

The last seven days of the training were dedicated to the drafting of a communication strategy by a seven-member team made of public affairs experts from the core border agencies who led the public affairs of the IBM approach in Ghana.

Lessons

On their arrival in Ghana, some members of the team told the Daily Graphic the programme offered them the opportunity to gain knowledge of best practices that could be implemented as part of integrated border management and by the individual agencies for enhanced operations.

The Head of Public Affairs, Chief Superintendent of Immigration, Micheal Amoako Atta, said it was observed that the FLETC spent a good part of their training period instilling integrity in trainees and there were well-designed phrases and quotes visibly on walls all around the school to encourage discipline and integrity.

The Head of International Affairs and Public Affairs at the Customs Division of the GRA, Chief Revenue, Brago Owusu Ansah, said the training would improve Ghana’s prevention of and readiness against terrorism threats.

The Head of Public Affairs of the Volta Regional Police Command, Superintendent of Police, Effia Tenge, said the training was insightful and would facilitate collaboration internally among the integrated border management agencies.