interning at INTERPOL
How does INTERPOL Washington contribute to the mission of national security?
One of the most notable ways that INTERPOL Washington contributes to the mission of national security is through its notice system. INTERPOL Notices are international requests for cooperation and information sharing among the 190 member countries engaged in transnational criminal investigations. Most famously, an INTERPOL National Central Bureau can request a Red Notice to locate and arrest a wanted criminal and extradite (or other equivalent legal action) back the country where the offense occurred. Although more people are familiar with Red Notices it is not the only resource available to an INTERPOL member country. For example, Blue Notices are used to collect additional information about a person of interest in an investigation while Yellow Notices seek to locate missing persons and purple notices provide information on the means and methods criminals use to execute their crimes such as smuggling techniques or the identity of an illegal fishing vessel.
What are two interesting things about INTERPOL that the average person doesn’t know?
INTERPOL Washington has an incredibly interesting organizational culture. For starters the leadership of the organization rotates between a representative from the Department of Justice and a representative of the Department of Homeland Security. Those selected to serve as INTERPOL Washington’s Director or Deputy Director always originate from one of those agencies and serve 3 years as Deputy Director followed by an additional 3 years as the Director. Outside of the leadership ranks, the organization employs detailees from many different government agencies. For example in my division, the Economic Crimes Division, we have representatives from the IRS, Secret Service, Federal Reserve Inspector General’s Office, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization, Postal Inspector General’s Office, Forestry Service and others that spend at least one day a week working at INTERPOL Washington.
Another interesting fact about INTERPOL Washington is that it is one of the few National Central Bureaus with an Environmental Crimes Unit. Specifically, detailees from the Forestry Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization work together with full time analysts to assist with cases involving illegal fishing, wildlife trafficking, illegal timbering, and the illegal dumping of hazardous materials.