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Public Safety Press Releases
Public Safety

Harbor Police Dive Team Travels to Philippines to Train Local Maritime Law Enforcement Divers

Members of the Port of San Diego Harbor Police dive team have recently returned from a training mission to Anilao Batangas, Philippines where they shared their expertise in underwater crime scene investigations with federal and local maritime law enforcement agencies. The training mission, from January 12-27, 2018, was made possible through a partnership established by Harbor Police in 2015 with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

“We’re proud to have opportunities to train, advise and mentor international law enforcement and security personnel to assist in global anti-crime efforts,” said acting Harbor Police Chief Mark Stainbrook. “Additionally, the relationships and networks our officers develop on missions like this help improve security and deter crime here at home, too.”

During the assignment, Harbor Police officers led underwater exercises involving skills such as how to tag and recover evidence and victim recovery. This was the Harbor Police dive team’s second visit to the Philippines. In July 2017, they led a workshop to develop the curriculum for this training effort.

“It was an honor to be asked by INL to participate in this mission to strengthen and develop training for underwater searches and disaster incidents in the Philippines,” said Lt. Jeff Geary, Harbor Police, who led a five-member team on the mission. “As a dive team, it was extremely rewarding to share best practices with our overseas counterparts.”

“The Port of San Diego has proven to be a key partner for us at the U.S. Department of State by helping develop and implement underwater crime scene investigation curriculum and training for Philippine maritime law enforcement,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Walsh, the senior official leading INL. “An effective fight against transnational crime requires exactly this sort of international cooperation. The Port of San Diego and Philippines cross-Pacific partnership demonstrates the value to our local U.S. communities of fostering international links with America’s key partners.”

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 assessment 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.
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.