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WASHINGTON – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was recently recognized for excellence and exceptional collaborative law enforcement operations during the four-day International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Annual Conference held at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Conference and Exposition Center in Dallas, Oct. 15-18.

“HSI’s recognition from IACP highlights the important work by countless employees across our agency,” said Patrick J. Lechleitner, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Deputy Director. “Working in partnership with other law enforcement agencies around the world, HSI’s expertise, courage, and sacrifice demonstrates commitment to our public safety and national security mission.”

In recognition of their efforts, HSI received the following agency awards from IACP:

IACP Leadership in Homeland Security Award

HSI Newark received the IACP leadership in Homeland Security Award for excellence and significant contributions to overcoming homeland security challenges. Their special agents worked tirelessly with numerous federal intelligence agencies to screen nearly 16,500 Afghan evacuees temporarily housed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix Lake Hurst, New Jersey. Through their investigations during the operation, HSI Newark proved instrumental in the apprehension of an alleged member of a terrorist organization claiming responsibility for the deadly bombing that killed 13 U.S. service members in 2021 during evacuations from Afghanistan. HSI Newark special agents assigned to Operation Allies Welcome efforts ensured that national security interests and protections were upheld while responding to a historic humanitarian mission to aid Afghans who worked alongside the U.S. military for two decades.

IACP Leadership in the Prevention of Transnational Crime Award

As part of the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Transnational Organized Crime Domestic Highway Initiative, HSI San Diego took honors in the IACP Leadership in the Prevention of Transnational Crime Award. HSI San Diego’s role on the joint task force helped create a specialized investigative framework resulting in the disruption of two violent drug cartels responsible for smuggling drugs in and around the Southern California region. HSI San Diego’s innovative tactics continue to prove crucial in the success of cross-border narcotics investigations, providing a benchmark for the detection of complex criminal enterprises attempting to bring drugs across our nation’s borders. 

IACP Leadership in Human and Civil Rights Award

Additionally, IACP recognized the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) for its leadership role in protecting civil rights. The award highlights the achievements of agencies and public trust and partnerships with communities around the globe. In 2020, DHS launched the HSI-led CCHT. The first center of its kind, the CCHT integrates the efforts of 16 DHS component agencies and offices. It also establishes an organizational mechanism to harmonize, leverage, centralize and coordinate DHS capabilities and resources to combat human trafficking and the importation of goods produced with forced labor overseas. The CCHT’s approach integrates DHS resources and capabilities to counter human trafficking throughout the agency’s global footprint. Since its inception, the Center has amassed a roster of nearly 60 DHS personnel working together to combat criminal human trafficking investigations and to support victim protection worldwide. In addition to providing direct support to ongoing investigations, the Center is developing new training materials and enhancing existing ones to better educate domestic and international law enforcement partners to identify and investigate instances of human trafficking, using a victim-centered and trauma-informed approach.  

“Every day, HSI special agents utilize their broad range of authority and international footprint to identify, investigate, and disrupt domestic and transnational criminal organizations operating in the U.S. and around the world,” said Steve K. Francis, acting Executive Associate Director of HSI. “We take pride in our role in exposing members of these organizations, dismantling their networks, and bringing them to justice – these awards are a testament to the incredible efforts of our dedicated agents.”

HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

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