Senior leaders from INTERPOL Washington, the U.S. National Central Bureau (USNCB), participated in the annual International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) Heads of National Central Bureaus (NCB) conference [external link]this week. The gathering brought together 270 police officials from 149 countries. INTERPOL Washington representatives were Acting Director Wayne Salzgaber, Chief of Staff Bernard Graham, and Deputy Chief of Staff Joseph Ferrigno. The conference, held March 7-9 at INTERPOL Headquarters in Lyon, France, highlighted the need for increased sharing of biometric data, such as fingerprints, DNA and facial recognition, and enhanced use of INTERPOL’s firearms tracing and ballistic data sharing capabilities, according to INTERPOL.
INTERPOL Washington serves as the designated U.S. representative to INTERPOL on behalf of the Attorney General. While it is a component of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), INTERPOL Washington is co-managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
U.S. membership in INTERPOL is authorized by U.S. law. As a condition of membership, the United States maintains a National Central Bureau (NCB) in Washington, D.C., which liaises with INTERPOL’s General Secretariat and the National Central Bureaus of INTERPOL’s 189 other member countries. The United States also details law enforcement officials to serve at INTERPOL Headquarters.
INTERPOL Washington coordinates U.S. law enforcement actions and responses, ensuring that they are consistent with U.S. interests and law, as well as INTERPOL policies, procedures, and regulations. As the official U.S. point of contact in INTERPOL's worldwide, police-to-police communications and criminal intelligence network, INTERPOL Washington operates 24/7/365. It supports more than 18,000 local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement agencies in the United States as well as their foreign counterparts seeking assistance in transnational criminal investigations.
INTERPOL Washington criminal investigative data assists U.S. law enforcement officials in bringing many criminals to justice. To date in 2017, two major high profile cases benefited from INTERPOL Washington assistance. For example, INTERPOL Washington partnered with U.S. and international law enforcement agencies to bring down four multi-million dollar international fraud and money laundering schemes perpetrated by a transnational organized crime network. In another case, the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice, wanted for a July 10, 2016, murder in the Dominican Republic, was arrested Thursday, February 23, by U.S. Marshals and Immigrations & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents with the New York/ New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force. INTERPOL Washington also provided critical assistance during that investigation. These are only two examples of the contributions INTERPOL Washington makes to domestic and international law enforcement.