US Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan visited Forensic-Criminalistics Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs along with the Head of the local office of Bureau of International and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) - Rebecca Hunt and Senior Police Advisor of the US Embassy - Michael Turner.
Guests were hosted by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Vakhtang Gomelauri and his First Deputy, Kakhaber Sabanadze. Minister acquainted Kelly Degnan with work specifics of the Forensic-Criminalistics Department and toured guests through the laboratories of the facility.
The Ambassador visited Biological, Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Examination, Ballistics, Fingerprints, Facial Recognition, Photo-Video and Computer-Technical Examination and other laboratories.
“This is a very impressive operation here and I’m so glad to have had a chance to tour the facility with the Minister Gomelauri and fact that they’ve had recently been accredited for questioned documents, for fingerprinting, for facial recognition, is an indication of the level of commitment to meeting international standards, in some case even surpassing it. We are very encouraged that the Ministry wants to continue with the complete accreditation in the next year or two. This will be then the internationally recognized state of the art facility, a very important area of law enforcement”, - stated the Ambassador.
Gomelauri and Degnan reviewed projects implemented with the support of INL, dedicated to capacity building of Forensic-Criminalistics Department and discussed future plans. Minister expressed his gratitude towards the US side for partnership and cooperation.
“For ten years, the American side has been assisting us not only with technical equipment, but also with personnel training. The equipment that the Ambassador and I have seen together, is the latest technology, which is very important for our forensic experts. We’ve opened this building not long ago and contribution of INL is huge in this regard, for which I would like to express my appreciation to the US side”, - said the Minister.
It is notable that in more than 60 trainings and conferences conducted with the support of INL, 400 employees of the Forensic-Criminalistics Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs took part, held both in the United Stated and Georgia as well.