WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) has been designated the official point of contact for INTERPOL matters within Los Angeles County, INTERPOL announced today. This new designation applies to all areas within the county except the city of Los Angeles , which will maintain its own point of contact within the city.
In order to combat the increasing globalization of crime, it is crucial for the United States ' state and local police authorities to be able to communicate with, and access information from, their international counterparts. The communication network and database resources of INTERPOL, the International Criminal Police Organization, are ideally suited for this purpose. To address this need, the U.S. National Central Bureau of INTERPOL (USNCB), the United States ' official representative to INTERPOL and a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, in coordination with state and local authorities, has established "INTERPOL Liaison Offices". LASD becomes the 64th U.S. law enforcement agency designated to meet this need, joining existing offices in each of the 50 states, Puerto Rico , the U.S. Virgin Islands , American Samoa , Boston , New York, Chicago , the city of Los Angeles , Washington, D.C., Miami-Dade County, Houston , San Diego , San Francisco , and Seattle .
Foreign investigative requests that have a nexus with Los Angeles County will be forwarded to the LASD by the USNCB for appropriate investigation and response. Conversely, LASD will channel local requests that require international investigation to the USNCB for transmission to the appropriate INTERPOL member country or countries. Additionally, LASD will educate police throughout its jurisdiction of its affiliation with the USNCB and the various ways in which INTERPOL can be of investigative assistance.
The combined resources of the LASD and the Los Angeles Police Department (which has an existing INTERPOL Liaison Office and covers the city of Los Angeles ) represent one of the largest metropolitan jurisdictions dedicated to international law enforcement cooperation through use of the INTERPOL network. The security of greater Los Angeles ' area approximately 10 million citizens is enhanced by this cooperative effort.
"Our goal is to bolster homeland security through enhanced partnerships with our domestic and international law enforcement colleagues. The recent establishment of the LASD INTERPOL Liaison Office directly supports this goal," said Martin Renkiewicz, a representative of the Department of Homeland Security serving a three-year term as the Director of the USNCB.
SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice