Southwest Surety Institute furthers interest, education of law enforcement agencies worldwide
The only institute of its kind in the state and one of only a few in the country, New Mexico State University's Southwest Surety Institute works to provide continuing education for local, regional, national and international law enforcement and social service agency practitioners.
SSI has a broad outreach, providing mandated continuing education for local, regional and state law enforcement organizations as well as serving international and cross-border agencies.
SSI's curriculum covers a wide scope, specifically leadership skills, global crime issues, crisis management and strategic planning. There are also specialty courses, which include topics such as agro/bioterrorism, computer forensics and human trafficking.
"These are subjects that have no boundaries and are topics that span around the world that each organization must address," said David Levine, the institute's director. "It's learning new concepts and principles that maybe they are not familiar with but also sharing and enhancing what they already have."
There are currently 18 faculty members under SSI. NMSU faculty members participating in the program come from various academic areas of the university including criminal justice, business and education.
"We as a faculty and as an institution have the resources and curriculum to provide training for local law enforcement officers," Levine said. "The institute is able to tailor curriculum to the individual agency as well."
Sub-contracted through the U.S. State Department, SSI faculty have had the opportunity to teach at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Roswell, N.M., the only institute of its kind in the country and one of only five in the world. The academy provides professional development for mid- and senior-level law enforcement officials.
The academy has hosted more than 3,500 officers from 94 different countries. It is the only academy that offers graduate-level curriculum geared toward leadership and management for law enforcement officers. The four-week session provides curriculum and instruction pertinent to managers of law enforcement agencies.
"There is a lot of commonality among international law enforcement even though we're in different countries and continents," Levine said. "It's an opportunity not only for these delegates to come and learn about American law enforcement techniques, concepts and principals but an opportunity for us to learn their ways as well."
SSI is a division of the Department of Agriculture Economics and Agriculture Business, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and the Cooperative Extension Service.
For more information about the services offered by SSI, visit http://www.ssi.nmsu.edu/index.html.
Written by Donyelle Kesler.