NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBS4) – When you want to learn a new skill, or hone an existing one, you want the best teacher with lots of experience.
That’s exactly why the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs decided to bring nearly two dozen Haitian Police Officers to Miami for narcotics training from the Miami-Dade Police Department.
“We’re the best in the southeast and this is another opportunity for us to prove it,” said Capt. Carl Wright of the Miami-Dade Police Training Institute.
The hand picked students from the Haitian Police force are the first of five classes of Haitian Officers who will receive special training in our area. The officers, many of whom are making their first ever trip outside of Haiti, will be here for the next 3 weeks, focusing on narcotics and tactical training. In their first week, the Haitians are spending time with members of the Tactical Narcotics Unit, observing what are known as “jump out” arrests in Liberty City and the north end of the county.
Sgt. Freddy Larrinana says he’s brushing up on his Creole to better communicate with his student guests.
“They’re learning from you, we’re learning from them. This is a great thing. I wish we could do this every day,” he said.
Detective Carolina Zapata was one of the trainers the Haitian Officers spent time observing.
“It’s every enlightening to know that we are teaching them skills they can use and take back with them,” said Det. Zapata.
The Haitian officers were observe the Miami-Dade Special Response Team next week, then, toward the end of their trip, they’ll be visiting several DEA facilities.
“They will go back to Haiti, and teach counter narcotics efforts to their colleagues,” said Melody Jackson, Senior Police Adviser, with the State Department.
Capt. Wright said this training not only benefits the Haitians, but South Florida as well.
“As you know, what usually happens abroad in the Caribbean, usually ends up on our doorsteps in some shape, form or fashion,” he said.