NEWS | Dec. 29, 2010

Missouri National Guard hosts Panamanian National Police

By Nancy K. Lane Missouri National Guard

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Missouri National Guard State Partnership Program recently welcomed members of the Panamanian National Police and Ministry of Public Safety to Jefferson City.

The focus of the visit was ethics within government in the United States at the local, state and federal levels.

“The State Partnership Program is a tenant of Department of Defense Security Cooperation and links National Guard states and territories with partner countries for the purpose of fostering mutual interests, establishing habitual long-term relationships and providing international security and stability,” said Army Lt. Col. Rebecca Segovia-Johnson, the Missouri State Partnership Program director.

“Currently there are 62 countries partnered with National Guard states.  Missouri has been partnered with the Republic of Panama since 1996.   Exchanges between Missouri and Panama are diverse and range from Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response to Medical HAZMAT and Leadership and Systems Development.”

Panamanian members representing the Ministry of Public Safety were Julissa Centeno, director of special projects, Leonard Paul, attorney, and Alexia Soto, attorney and special projects. 

Representing the Panamanian National Police were subcomisionado Manuel Moreno, director of the investigations department, and Licenciada Kauris Amador, lawyer and director of internal affairs.

The first day was dedicated to the process of setting up security for the Missouri National Guard under the direction of Army Lt. Col. Eddie Brown, deputy director of the J-2 intelligence division. 

Army Staff Sgt. Mark Lieurance made the first presentation discussing the investigation process.  Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark Vinson then discussed how clearance determination can be made based upon the investigation process. 

The afternoon session was wrapped up by Brown and Army Sgt. Weston Phelps, intel analyst, explaining network and physical security.

The second day of the tour focused on the ethics, legislative and university security systems within the state of Missouri.

Brig. Gen. Cassie Strom, the Air National Guard Assistant to the Staff Judge Advocate with Air Mobility Command, Air Force Col. David Lowe, the judge advocate general Joint Forces Headquarters, and Air Force Capt. Gary P. Chura, the judge advocate general for the 70th Troop Command addressed the Panamanians and accompanied them to the Missouri Ethics Commission and to the Missouri Capitol. 

Julie Allen, executive director of the Missouri Ethics Commission explained the mission and purpose of the commission, ethics legislation, investigation and enforcement.

The group continued to the capitol where they had lunch and a tour of the senate chamber with Sen. Eric Schmitt.  Schmitt also explained ethics and corruption in regard to the Missouri legislature.

The day ended with a trip to the University of Missouri in Columbia where Mike Alden and Mitzi Clayton of the MU Athletics Department discussed ethics, rules education and teamwork in compliance. 

Prof. Amy McCombs of the journalism school presented the role of an engaged media as an anti-corruption factor in democratic societies. 

The SSP trip concluded the following day by visiting Troop F Headquarters of the Missouri Highway Patrol. 

After a presentation was made by Col. Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, regarding professional standards and internal affairs investigations, the Panamanian officials toured the patrol museum.