Attorney, International Justice Mission
The RTC Director, as part of his goals for the center, would like to see an increased participation of female law enforcement professionals, in our programs. It is always exciting to get feedback from our RTC women and so this month we are happy to highlight the efforts of an alumna who has a lot to share on how RTC trainings have played a role in shaping her career goals.
My experience of the RTC was five (5) years ago, at which time I was working as a Legal Officer at the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) in Ghana. Two participants were selected by my organization to attend a transnational organized crime investigation course organized by the RTC and I was one of the two. It was a weeklong course. The training modules covered topics such as, controlled delivery, undercover tradecraft and stress management.
For me as Legal Officer at NACOB, I found that my role was a fine blend of legal work and enforcement. I was required to be a liaison between the enforcement unit of my organization and the Attorney Generals’ Department. In doing this, I was to ensure that the enforcement unit which was responsible for both covert and overt investigations, arrests, searches, exhibit destruction, and the analysis of intelligence worked within the legal framework of our enabling laws. To adequately perform this role effectively, I needed a healthy understanding of their work both in practice and procedurally. The training at the RTC provided exactly that exposure and understanding.
The training brought together law enforcement officers and legal practitioners from security agencies both in Ghana and from across the West African sub-region.
Apart from the various lectures delivered by the well versed instructors, the training module required participants to make power-point presentations, participate in breakout sessions, and voluntary roleplay based on a take-home fact pattern question; making the training a practical and interactive one. By the end of the week, we had transmuted from mere participants of a training session into a network of law enforcement officers and legal practitioners committed to effective interagency collaborations.
My take away from the training, was not just technical know how I had acquired through the various sessions but it was a combination of knowledge, budding friendships and a neatly crafted web of networks that have blossomed and resonated through my career five years up the ladder.
I have moved organizations and I currently work as an in-house Attorney for the International Justice Mission (IJM), an international non-profit organization that works with government to tackle Child Trafficking in the Fishing Industry. To achieve this goal, we support the authorized agencies in not just rescuing victims of the offence but also restoring them to physical and psychological health in a safe environment that lasts. We believe that holding suspected perpetrators accountable through prosecution is how we can maintain that safe future for victims so we work in tandem with our partners in the criminal justice system to prosecute these cases. By working closely with our partners, we identify and provide the necessary capacity building to bolster their work. Based on the ineffaceable experience I had during my training at the RTC in 2013, the one place I knew to recommend to IJM that undoubtedly would provide an avant-garde state of the art training facility for IJM’s partners was the West African Regional Training Center.
I joined IJM in 2015 and I am currently growing in my role as an Attorney with the Legal Department at IJM and I intend to develop my expertise in understating the proper investigation and prosecution of human trafficking/organized crime generally to prepare me possibly for the Bench (becoming a Judge). I would love to be part of future trainings that dovetails into the career goals I’ve stated above, i.e., investigation and prosecution of human trafficking /organized crime generally. This kind of training will equip me to adequately support the law enforcement officers I work with, in their investigations and the State Attorneys I partner with, in their prosecution of such cases.
I have reconnected with the RTC through the growing relationship between IJM and the RTC. I am grateful to the RTC for an important experience, which has equipped me with the right skills and contacts needed for a successful legal cum law enforcement career.
Miss Kpikpi (Attorney, International Justice Mission)