In the Asia and Pacific region, the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) is helping police forces adapt to a wide range of contemporary law enforcement challenges. A major focus of ICITAP's programs in the region is supporting efforts to combat terrorism and transnational crime enterprises by building capacity to conduct complex criminal investigations.
The trans-border nature of these challenges has led ICITAP to embrace a regional approach in many of its assistance programs throughout Asia and the Pacific. For instance, ICITAP participates in the DOD-funded, interagency Southeast Asia Tri-border Initiative (SATI) to deter terrorist recruitment and deny terrorists sanctuary in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
ICITAP programs in the region are funded by the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL); the U.S. Agency for International Development; the Department of Defense; and the joint State- and Defense-funded Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF).
Learn more about ICITAP's programs in this region (*indicates field office):
ICITAP first initiated a program in 2004 to help train Bangladesh's national police in a broad range of police management topics and criminal investigation procedures. Then in 2009, ICITAP, working with the U.S. Marshals Service, began helping to implement internationally accepted use-of-force standards and internal discipline procedures in the Rapid Action Battalion, a paramilitary anti-crime and counterterrorism unit. ICITAP plans to continue development efforts with an extensive community-oriented policing program.
The program in Indonesia—the largest ICITAP police assistance effort in Asia—started in 2000 after the police separated from the armed forces. Originally focused on helping the police service transition from a military to a civilian law enforcement agency, the program expanded to include the development of Indonesia's maritime, port, and border security capacity; a range of management systems, including emergency response to natural disasters and crisis situations; and professional standards. In ICITAP’s first environmental and natural resources protection project, the Indonesia program is developing law enforcement capacity to assist in protecting critical marine and forest ecosystems from exploitation. ICITAP has also assisted with training reform, forensic laboratory accreditation, and criminal investigative capacity, including for cybercrime and intellectual property rights violations.
Since 2006, ICITAP has assisted in the development of a strategic plan for the police service and also helped prepare the security forces and the election commission to oversee the country's historic 2008 elections. Today, ICITAP is focusing on developing the capacity of the police in rural areas by establishing a regional training center capable of training and housing 500 police recruits; equipping and refurbishing three police stations in large districts; and providing training in instructor development, civil disturbance management, human rights, ethnic diversity, community policing, and border security.
Since 2002, ICITAP has been working to increase the capacity of Pakistan's law enforcement agencies to combat major criminal activities and terrorist threats. ICITAP trains all ranks of the Pakistan police force—from line officers to senior managers—in modern policing practices. ICITAP teamed up with the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the State Department's Anti-Terrorism Training program; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to develop and deliver an ongoing training program designed to address the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Training focuses on IED recognition, post-blast investigation, and implementation of effective command and control at the scene of bombings.
ICITAP's program in the Philippines began in 2006 with an emphasis on helping the Philippine National Police (PNP) as they transitioned from a military constabulary force to a wholly civilian police force. ICITAP has provided advanced crime scene investigation training in areas known to be havens for terrorist groups as well as training on investigating and prosecuting extrajudicial killings. ICITAP developed 26 model police stations across the country, initiated and equipped a modern crime laboratory in the conflict area of Mindanao, and supported the maritime police by providing boats, equipment, and specialized training. Today’s focus is on developing PNP training institutions, including the Philippine National Police Academy and the National Police College, while providing assistance to significantly upgrade investigative, information systems, police intelligence, and organizational policy-making capacities.
Selected Past Programs
In 2015, ICITAP concluded a Department of Defense-funded program with the Afghan counternarcotics police. ICITAP assisted in the implementation of a sustainable development strategy focusing on basic skills, counternarcotics tactics, leadership, policy development, and administration.
ICITAP's program in Thailand began in September 2008. Working with the U.S. embassy's Transnational Crime Affairs Section, the program focused on building capacity for basic and complex investigations, supervision and management of the investigative process, forensic analysis of evidence, and community policing. In addition, training on explosives identification, crisis management, and other topics was designed to improve the law enforcement response to terrorism.
From 2015–2017, ICITAP delivered a forensic assistance program to assist the government as well as private DNA laboratories to build their capacity to use DNA in the identification of unidentified war-era remains. There are over 300,000 unidentified remains in government cemeteries as a legacy of the Vietnam War.