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General Press Releases
Public Safety

Harbor Police Dive Team Returns from Second Training Mission to Philippines

Members of the Port of San Diego Harbor Police Dive Rescue Team have returned from their second training mission to the province of Batangas, located in the Philippines. Five dive team members led by Lt. Chris Woodward presented an eight-day course in Underwater Crime Scene Investigations (UCSI). Agencies present for the training included members of the Philippine National Police’s Maritime Group, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Philippine Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

The training mission, held November 7-15, 2018, was made possible through a partnership established by the Port of San Diego in 2015 with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

“It was amazing to see the growth and development throughout this course. The participating agencies sent a full complement of their best divers to participate – they were motivated and worked hard,” said Chief Mark Stainbrook, Port of San Diego Harbor Police. “After several excellent meetings with the senior leadership, it is obvious our Philippine partners are committed to developing their internal procedures and training, and we stand ready to continue to assist in the future at the State Department’s request.”

During this assignment, Harbor Police divers taught skills necessary for public safety divers to conduct underwater crime scene investigations. Topics included: how to tag and recover evidence, how to recover victims and how to document crime scenes. This was the second training in 2018 of Philippine maritime law enforcement agencies in underwater crime scene investigation following a period of coordinated curriculum development.

The objective of the program is to enable all three Philippine agencies to adapt the Harbor Police-developed curriculum to train their own officers moving forward. This training was designed to encourage increased interagency collaboration on underwater crime scene investigations. During this iteration, the Philippine Department of Justice’s National Bureau of Investigations and National Prosecution Service, as well as the Philippines National Police’s Scene of the Crime Office, participated and contributed to the training.

“INL strongly supports our continued partnership with the Port of San Diego. The exemplary professionalism, conduct, and training skills of the Port’s Harbor Police Department have enabled significant contributions to enhanced maritime and port security around the world,” said Kirsten Madison, Assistant Secretary, INL. “The Harbor Police Department’s multi-year engagement to build Philippine maritime law enforcement agencies’ capability to conduct underwater crime scene investigations demonstrates the Port’s commitment to working with the United States’ cross-Pacific partners and supporting U.S. national security. We look forward to future engagement with the Port of San Diego and to working closely with the Harbor Police Department.”

Other engagements by Harbor Police under the INL partnership include:

  • February 2016 – A team of Harbor Police officers deployed to Jamaica where they provided mentoring and training to maritime police from several Jamaican port towns.
  • November 2015 – Harbor Police, along with the Port of Long Beach Harbor Patrol, hosted and conducted a week-long study tour program at the Port of San Diego and Port of Long Beach to show Pakistani counterparts U.S. port and maritime security operations. The program focused on interagency cooperation in which both ports demonstrated integrated, layered approaches to port security that incorporates multiple agencies.

High-resolution photos and video of the recent training mission to the Philippines are available here.

About THE Port of San Diego

The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.

ABOUT PORT OF SAN DIEGO PUBLIC SAFETY
Port of San Diego Public Safety protects and oversees the safety of our dynamic San Diego Bay waterfront—land and sea.

Port Public Safety is responsible for safeguarding waterfront parks and land, maintaining homeland security and collaborating with agency partners to deter crime locally and abroad. Through the Harbor Police Department, the Port provides for the safety of our communities and resources along San Diego Bay and at San Diego International Airport, and is seen as a global leader in maritime and aviation public safety.