USAID Police Guidance and Myth Buster

Speeches Shim

For too long, many DRG officers have labored under the impression that USAID can only work with law enforcement, including police, in very limited circumstances. This was certainly true at one time, but things have changed. There are a number of applicable notwithstanding authorities, including for community-based police assistance and democracy programs, that may be applied to assistance to law enforcement.

When the subject of working with police arises, many in USAID and the interagency immediately think of the prohibition. USAID remains bound by Section 660 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, which generally prohibits the use of foreign assistance to provide assistance (e.g., training, advice, or financial support) to law enforcement.2 However, there are numerous exceptions in section 660 itself, as well as many notwithstanding authorities (NWA) that can be applied to the prohibition. One of these is for community-based police assistance, but there are numerous others. The law on assistance to law enforcement has evolved over time, making it far easier to work with them.

Friday, February 5, 2021 - 11:45am

Last updated: June 10, 2021