May 8-12, 2012
The Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (LECC) is a program whose mission is to facilitate and promote coordination, communication, and cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in the Northern District of Georgia, by providing resources, information, training, and technical assistance to those agencies. The term "law enforcement agencies" includes: Sheriff's offices, police departments, campus and university police, state and local prosecutors (District Attorneys, State Attorney General, Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia), the Georgia Department of Public Safety, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, the Georgia State Patrol, and all federal law enforcement agencies.
A few examples of the resources the office provides to law enforcement agencies are: Georgia POST-certified training seminars and classes, access to Department of Justice grant information, and administration of the equitable sharing program, which provides funding to law enforcement agencies that participate in a federal forfeiture. Finally, the LECC program participates and aides in implementing community based anti-drug and anti-violence programs, such as Project Safe Neighborhoods.
The United States Attorney's Office, through the LECC program, plays an important role in helping state and local law enforcement agencies gain access to federal resources. Law enforcement agencies frequently ask for information on available grants. With the exception of funding for community policing, all Department of Justice grants are administered by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). The primary component of OJP for funding of law enforcement programs is the Bureau of Justice Assistance Information. It concerns grant funding for community oriented police officers and related initiatives, and can be found at the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).
The LECC Manager serves as the district's Anti-Terrorism Chief Information Officer, and has the responsibility for dissemination of terrorism-related information to state and local law enforcement agencies. The LECC manager works within established law enforcement associations and organizations to remain knowledgeable about current issues affecting law enforcement agencies and to insure that law enforcement agencies and law enforcement personnel receive timely information when new federal initiatives are launched or policies are changes that affect them. Some of the organizations in which the LECC Coordinator is a member include:
- Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police
- Georgia Sheriffs' Association
- Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council
- Atlanta Metropol, Inc.
- International Association of Chiefs of Police
- National Sheriffs' Association
- Commission for the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies
Forfeiture is one of the most effective weapons in the law enforcement arsenal. The purpose of the program is to immobilize criminal enterprises and to enhance cooperation among law enforcement agencies. Federal law enforcement agencies team with state and local agencies to work joint cases resulting in forfeiture, or federal agencies may adopt state and local seizures for federal forfeiture whenever appropriate. The Federal Asset Forfeiture Equitable Sharing Program allows state and local law enforcement agencies to share in the proceeds of forfeitures in cases in which they directed participated. Equitable sharing is the distribution of a percentage of forfeiture proceeds to such agencies. The program has been a success in fostering cooperation with our state and local law enforcement colleagues. The LECC Manager facilitates the distribution of all judicial forfeiture checks, and is the contact person for all equitable sharing questions. In FY 2003, more than $8 million in equitable sharing funds was distributed to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
The LECC program is known throughout the country for its excellent training courses, particularly in the areas of terrorism, traffic search and seizure, and asset forfeiture. The LECC's training course on Law Enforcement and Racial and Ethnic Profiling has been widely requested by other U.S. Attorney's Offices and law enforcement agencies and organizations.