District of Columbia National Guard Head Visits INTERPOL Washington
On July 18, 2017, the Acting Commanding General of the District of Columbia (D.C.) National, Guard Brig. Gen. William J. Walker, visited INTERPOL Washington. General Walker assumed his current duties on January 20, 2017, and is responsible for operational readiness and command and control of the D.C. Army and Air National Guard units with an authorized end strength of 2,700 soldiers and airmen. He previously served as the Commander, Land Component Command, of the D.C. National Guard. In 2014, General Walker retired from civilian federal service as a career special agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration where he was a member of the Senior Executive Service.
The D.C. National Guard’s mission bridges the gap between Department of Defense and non-Defense institutions in the fight against illicit drugs and transnational threats to the Homeland. The program assists community-based groups to educate their communities; to assist in criminal intelligence gathering and information sharing; and to disrupt the drug market by supporting arrest operations. The counter-drug program conducts aerial reconnaissance, providing support to various District and federal law enforcement agencies and criminal analyst and linguist support to law enforcement agencies. In support of this mission area, in 2013 the D.C. National Guard assigned one detailee, and recently added a second, to INTERPOL Washington’s Drug Division to support criminal analysis and information-sharing activities.
Acting Director of INTERPOL Washington Wayne Salzgaber welcomed the General and his staff members to the agency before turning the session over to a senior advisor to present the orientation briefing. The briefing covered the critical roles of INTERPOL and INTERPOL Washington tools and services in the fight against transnational crime. The briefing placed a special emphasis on the expansion of collaborative efforts between INTERPOL Washington and the Department of Defense in the sharing of biometric and other law enforcement data. Acting Director Salzgaber thanked General Walker for his continued support to the INTERPOL mission. This is particularly significant as the D.C. National Guard is the first and only National Guard unit represented at INTERPOL Washington.
A component of the U.S. Department of Justice, INTERPOL Washington is co-managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. As the designated representative to INTERPOL on behalf of the Attorney General, INTERPOL Washington serves as the national point of contact for all INTERPOL matters, coordinating international investigative efforts among member countries and the more than 18,000 local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement agencies in the United States.