San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican police officer wins international award

A member of the Drug Control Police (PCD) was selected Monday as the “officer of the year” by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, based in Alexandria, Virginia in the U.S. The agent, who was referred to as “MT” in a press release from the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica to protect his identity, was recognized as the top security official among the more than 100 member countries of the organization.

According to a press statement, the officer was recognized for his accomplishments in the fight against drug-trafficking and international crime organizations. The Public Security Ministry told The Tico Times on Tuesday that MT initiated the investigation that led to the arrest of Alexander Leudo Nieves, a Colombian citizen who was being pursued by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Interpol. Leudo, who was arrested in June along with two other Colombians and seven Costa Ricans, is thought to be linked to an international drug ring based in Buenaventura, Colombia (TT, June 9, 2011).

MT was nominated for the award by the DEA office in Costa Rica. Felipe Springer, the director of the DEA Costa Rica office, referred to the officer as the “backbone” of every case he investigates.

“He is simply a great person,” said Felipe Springer, the director of the DEA Costa Rica office. “In my 26 years in law enforcement, very few times have I known anyone like him. He is what all investigators should aspire to be. We are very proud of him.”

Anne S. Andrew, the U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, also praised MT for his efforts.

“MT is an extraordinary official of the police, a role model to follow for his integrity and public service, and a valuable partner for us in the work that we are doing with the Public Security Ministry to contribute making Costa Rica a safer place for its citizens.”

The International Association of Chiefs of Police, which was founded in 1893, is the oldest and biggest police organization in the world with some 20,000 members in more than 100 countries. The award was announced at the association’s 118th annual conference in Chicago, Illinois.

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