November 25, 2020

Franklin Police Chief Returns from Counterterrorism Training in Israel

(Atlanta, GA) — Chief Kevin Hannah of the Franklin Police Department 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. No taxpayer money was used for his participation in the program.

Hannah 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.

“I am extremely grateful to have been provided with the opportunity to be a member of the 24th Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange program,” stated Chief Hannah after the trip.

“We were treated extremely well during our visit and the knowledge obtained far exceeded my expectations. Throughout the program it was obvious that we have very similar challenges as we deal with modern policing and addressing community concerns. The information obtained will assist me as a law enforcement leader and college student, which I take great pride in.”

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.

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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 has 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,” said Olens.

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.

“This detailed and well planned leadership development program was provided at no cost to taxpayers and although supported by the Mayor and Council, I made a decision to use personal time to avoid any negative feedback regarding my attendance,” added Chief Hannah in a statement. “During my absence I remained in contact with employees of the Department and citizens in need of services, so that my absence was not an inconvenience to the community.”

GILEE was founded as a joint program between the university and Georgia’s law enforcement community by Director Robert Friedmann, Professor Emeritus of Criminal Justice.

(Slideshow Photos courtesy of GILEE/Kevin Hannah)

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