Doraville assistant police chief returns from counterterrorism training

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Israeli officers share best practices in responding to new and growing public safety threats

Doraville assistant police chief returns from counterterrorism training Charles D. Atkinson

ATLANTA – Charles D. Atkinson, assistant chief of the Doraville Police Department, has returned from Israel after an intensive two weeks of public safety training conducted by Israeli police.

Atkinson traveled to Israel as the member of a delegation of 14 public safety officials from Georgia who studied best practices in counterterrorism, emergency management, and other types of public safety and homeland security strategies through the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE).  

“I am an avid supporter of GILEE,” says Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan, a 1993 graduate of GILEE’s training exchange. “When we send our men and women into critical incidents, it is too late to worry about whether we have trained them properly. GILEE delegations gain valuable, peer-to-peer training with international partners, where they are exposed to new techniques, new skills and new ideas – many that validate the public safety practices we use here.”

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, GILEE has provided more than 800 senior law enforcement officials worldwide – more than half from Georgia – critical knowledge in current public safety practices through more than 200 peer-to-peer training exchanges. More than 15,000 public and private leaders in law enforcement and public safety have attended GILEE’s special briefings, such as the annual Business Continuity Summit. 

“The GILEE exchange program shows everyone how to do the right things on a broader scale,” says Reginald “Ray” Moore, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office “In law enforcement, we are one big family. We can’t do it by ourselves. GILEE builds relationships on an international level.” Moore partners in planning and hosting the annual Business Continuity Summit.

GILEE was founded prior to Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Games as a joint program between Georgia State University and Georgia’s law enforcement community by Robert Friedmann, professor emeritus of criminal justice. The program continuously works to improve public safety in Georgia and the nation by enhancing inter-agency cooperation and educational training among and world’s top law enforcement communities, with Israel a principal partner in this exchange.

A research unit within GSU’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, GILEE and the department last July joined the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, which is ranked among the nation’s top 25 public affairs graduate schools. (U.S. News & World Report, 2012)

“Our GILEE delegates return with new ways of developing, sharing and using policing and intelligence strategies to minimize the production of crime in their communities,” says Friedmann. “After twenty years, our graduates serve in key leadership levels of public safety in Georgia and beyond.”