Georgia Public Safety Training Director Returns from Counterterrorism Training in Israel

ATLANTA –Carrollton resident Christopher Wigginton, director of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center, has returned home after spending two weeks in Israel for training in the latest counterterrorism techniques and technologies by that nation’s top police professionals.
Wigginton was a member of a delegation of police chiefs, sheriffs, a Georgia commissioner and an inspector from various public safety and law enforcement agencies who participated in the 24th annual peer-to-peer public safety training program organized by the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE). Fifteen Georgia delegates were joined by law enforcement leaders from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department in New York, and police departments in Alabama and Washington.
GILEE hosts public safety exchanges, conferences and experts who introduce best practices in law enforcement to police and other public and private safety professionals to enhance their capabilities to serve citizens in this area. Among other honors, GILEE received the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police President’s Special Service Award for its work in 2014.
Mark McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety and the Colonel of the Georgia State Patrol, is a GILEE alumnus. He recently described the peer-to-peer training as the professional chance of a lifetime. “GILEE had a profound impact on the law enforcement community in Georgia and beyond.”
Georgia’s Attorney General Sam Olens emphasized the training’s importance to Georgia communities. “The training received in Israel and their ability to deal with high-pressure situations will be valuable for day-to-day situations. There is so much we can learn to be that ‘beacon on the hill’ again.”
Since its founding, GILEE has graduated more than 1,350 public safety and law enforcement officials from all over the world – about half from the U.S., mostly from Georgia – in over 380 training exchange programs. More than 25,000 public and private safety leaders have attended GILEE’s special briefings, seminars and workshops. GILEE has assisted Olympic security efforts in Atlanta and around the world.
“As the world gets ever smaller, GILEE’s focus on international public safety partnerships is critically important,” said GILEE Founding Director Robert Friedmann, a Professor Emeritus of Criminal Justice at Georgia State University. “Our delegates are trained to recognize the challenges and deal with them in accordance with the best practices in 21st century policing.”
GILEE, a research unit of Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, improves public safety by enhancing inter-agency cooperation and educational training among law enforcement communities by offering best practices and sources of excellence in a peer-to-peer environment. It was founded as a joint program between the university and Georgia’s law enforcement community by Director Robert Friedmann, Professor Emeritus of Criminal Justice.
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