A Harbor Police training exercise. Courtesy Port of San Diego
A Harbor Police training exercise. Courtesy Port of San Diego

The Port of San Diego‘s Harbor Police Department has signed an agreement with the State Department to to train international law enforcement and security personnel from Asia and Latin America.

The agreement with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, or INL, was signed last month, but not announced until last week.

This new relationship with the Port of San Diego is INL’s second port partnership and the first on the West Coast. It builds on existing work with PortMiami to provide security assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean.

INL frequently receives requests for guidance and support regarding port security matters from foreign governments.

“We are excited to partner with the Port of San Diego,” said Asst. Secretary of State William R. Brownfield. “The unique expertise of the Harbor Police will be put to work advancing America’s security on the world stage, by helping partner nations establish effective port and maritime security and combat transnational crime. Better port security for countries overseas translates directly into faster transits to and security for the Port of San Diego.”

The Harbor Police Department is the law enforcement agency that patrols San Diego Bay, surrounding waterfront areas, and San Diego International Airport. The force consists of 126 sworn officers supported by 30 civilian professional staff. Officers have expertise in maritime firefighting, counter smuggling, human trafficking, K-9 detection of explosives and narcotics, aviation security, vessel operations, maritime tactical training and dive operations.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.