The Gemological Institute of America’s first class made up entirely of law enforcement officials recently graduated, following an intensive two-week course of training on gemological identification and fraud prevention.
Immediately upon receiving their certificates, the 13 graduates of the “GIA Law Enforcement Class 1-08 D-Flawless” officially formed the first GIA Law Enforcement Alumni Chapter.
“This two-week class was coordinated with the FBI after the one-day seminar held last year proved to be very beneficial to law enforcement,” said Larry Wright, GIA’s director of Security. “These officers now have knowledge of gemology they can immediately apply to cases at home.”
The class represented more than 212 years of law enforcement experience, averaging to more than 16 years apiece. Agents came from FBI offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Diego; and Task Force Officers came from the Miami Dade Police Department, the New York City Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department and the San Diego County Sheriff’s office.
The law enforcement officials serve on special gem and jewelry task forces in their own territories. They can now share their knowledge with their police, sheriff, and FBI teams at home, and build a network of resources between each other to continue the flow of information. In addition, these officers know about the resources available to them from GIA.
The curriculum for the class included, becoming familiar with the physical tools of the trade and studying the various gemstones and their properties to understanding the Kimberley Process and the mechanics of the diamond and gemstone business. The curriculum was developed in cooperation with the Violent Crime Section of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.
GIA intends to continue offering the gemology course to law enforcement.