Forms first Law Enforcement Alumni Chapter
(CARLSBAD, Calif.) – The Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) first class made up entirely of law enforcement officials recently graduated, following an intensive two-week course of training on gemological identification and fraud prevention.
Immediately upon receiving their certificates, the 13 graduates of the “GIA Law Enforcement Class 1-08 D-Flawless” officially formed the first GIA Law Enforcement Alumni Chapter.
Larry Wright, GIA’s director of Security, said: “This two-week class was coordinated with the FBI after the one-day seminar held last year proved to be very beneficial to law enforcement. The intensity with which these particular students went after gemological knowledge was amazing. These officers now have knowledge of gemology they can immediately apply to cases at home.”
The class of 13 individuals represented over 212 years of law enforcement experience, averaging to more than 16 years apiece. Agents came from FBI offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Diego; and Task Force Officers came from the Miami Dade Police Department, the New York City Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department and the San Diego County Sheriff’s office.
The law enforcement officials serve on special gem and jewelry task forces in their own territories. Now these gemologically informed law enforcement officials can share their knowledge with their police, sheriff and FBI teams at home, and build a network of resources between each other to continue the flow of information. In addition, these officers know about the resources available to them from GIA.
Wright said, “It would be hard to find two groups of people, the GIA instructors and their law enforcement students, more passionate about their jobs. GIA and the law enforcement have a shared mission to protect the public, and part of GIA’s mission is to assist law enforcement in identifying gems and reducing gem fraud.”
The curriculum for the class was extensive, starting with becoming familiar with the physical tools of the trade and studying the various gemstones and their properties, to understanding the Kimberley Process and the mechanics of the diamond and gemstone business. The curriculum was developed in cooperation with the Violent Crime Section of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.
GIA intends to continue offering the gemology course to law enforcement.
Dan McCaffrey, Special Agent, F.B.I. Violent Crime Branch in New York, helped orchestrate the creation of this new law enforcement-specific class. McCaffrey said: “The partnership between GIA and law enforcement is invaluable. The training provided in the recent two week seminar is truly exceptional, probably the most detailed and specific to the gem and jewelry trade ever provided in the U.S. to law enforcement. The attendees now have the tools to make them all more effective investigators, and will help them better resolve crimes affecting the gem and jewelry trade. There is probably no other place in the world that could have provided such a well-structured and practical course of study. The instructors were absolutely fantastic, the facility was superb, and many important relationships were forged during the training.”
For more information please visit www.gia.edu.