WASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels/ — On Monday, August 16, 2010, the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry K. Thomas, Jr., participated in the donation ceremony of four police patrol boats to the Philippine National Police Maritime Group Special Boat Unit (SBU) headquartered in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) helped establish and train the unit and reflects our partnership with Philippines’ law enforcement agencies in efforts to protect our citizens against cross-border criminal threats.

The civilian maritime police boats will be used by the Philippine National Police in their efforts to interdict criminals, combat trafficking in narcotics, persons, or other illicit activities, and strengthen security off the coasts of the islands of Palawan province – eliminating safe havens for terrorists and other criminals and increasing the capabilities of our foreign partners to cooperate with us and their neighboring countries in matters of mutual concern. The donated boats were procured with INL funding from Naiad Inflatables of Newport, Inc. in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

INL’s assistance program in the Philippines, implemented by the U.S. Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP), works in partnership with the Philippine National Police to strengthen police competencies throughout the country. The Model Police Station Project delivers training in 21 core subject areas, such as criminal investigations, community policing, leadership, women and children’s issues, and police ethics. Since 2006, the program has reached more than 9,000 police graduates, of which 22 percent were female officers.

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