U.S. Law Enforcement
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security's (DS) Regional Security Officers protect U.S. personnel and missions overseas, advising U.S. ambassadors on all security matters and providing an effective security program against terrorist, espionage, and criminal threats at U.S. diplomatic facilities. In the U.S., the bureau's Special Agents investigate passport and visa fraud, conduct personnel security investigations, issue security clearances, and protect the Secretary of State and many visiting foreign dignitaries. The Bureau also manages the Counter-terrorism Rewards Program, and trains foreign civilian police under the Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program. It also chairs the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) a joint venture between the Department and the U.S. private sector to exchange timely information on security problems with U.S. businesses.
The protection of life is the most critical element of the DS mission, and is an absolute requirement for the global conduct of foreign affairs. With the emergence of terrorist coalitions that operate across international borders, the threat of terrorism against U.S. interests is greater than ever. Clearly, we can no longer consider any U.S. mission overseas as being in a low-threat environment.
As a result, Diplomatic Security is more dedicated than ever to its mission of providing a secure living and working environment for our Foreign Service colleagues as they implement foreign policy and promote U.S. interests around the world. DS special agents serving in regional security offices anchor our overseas security efforts and provide the first line of defense for our personnel, their families, U.S. diplomatic missions, and national security information. More than 480 DS special agents in over 150 countries advise chiefs of mission on all security matters and develop and implement the programs that shield U.S. missions and residences overseas from physical and technical attack.
Special agents formulate plans to deal with various emergency contingencies ranging from hostage taking to evacuations. Often, in times of crisis and political instability, DS special agents rely on the U.S. military for assistance. Since the early 1990s, special agents have worked closely with the military, especially the U.S. Marine Fleet Antiterrorism Security Teams, which have provided emergency force protection support for Department of State operations in a number of countries when the host government was unable to do so.
Special agents are the primary liaison with foreign police and security services overseas in support of U.S. law enforcement initiatives and investigations. Much of the investigative and law enforcement liaison work done by special agents abroad is on behalf of other federal, state, and local agencies. DS receives about 3,000 requests for overseas investigative assistance from U.S. law enforcement each year, and has achieved noteworthy success in locating and apprehending wanted fugitives who have fled the United States.
The Regional Security Office Bucharest is responsible for providing a safe and secure working environment for U.S. Diplomats in Romania. The Regional Security Office falls under the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
The Regional Security Office Bucharest overseas a number of security and law enforcement programs at post to include; criminal investigations, personnel investigations, physical/residential security, the local guard force program, security of classified material, law enforcement liaison, police training programs and the counter-terrorism rewards program. The Regional Security Office advises the U.S. Ambassador on all security-related issues in Romania. The Regional Security Office also provides security information to U.S. companies in Romania upon request.
If you have any questions about security in Romania please call (+40) (21) 200-3366.
If you want to lean more about the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, try these links below:
- DS Internet Site Link
- DS Rewards for Justice Link
- Rewards for Justice Fund Link (Pvt. Site allowing people to donate to the DS Rewards for Justice program.)
- DS Overseas Security Advisory Council Link
Each Legal Attache (Legat) represents the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and protects the interests of the Bureau. The FBI responds to domestic and extraterritorial needs as effectively as possible. This is accomplished through partnerships and cooperation with Romanian and Moldovan law enforcement agencies on every level. FBI agents overseas do not have arrest power or the power to serve subpoenas in connection to conducting investigations without the approval of the host Government. Legats are responsive to the U.S. Ambassador. Officially, the FBI Legat office was opened August 24, 2000. Legat Bucharest has territorial responsibility for Romania and Moldova. The Legal Attache office consists of a Legat, an Assistant Legat, and an Office Assistant. The FBI also has an Advisor to the Romanian Human Trafficking Task Force.
Another element of the FBI's role in Romania and Moldova is training provided for international law enforcement agencies. The FBI considers training of foreign law enforcement officers to be particularly critical to combating international crime.
The Resident Legal Advisor ["RLA"] program is operated by the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training ["OPDAT"], which is part of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington. OPDAT helps fulfil the Justice Department's commitment to assist states and entities around the world as they attempt to build and maintain, or to improve, effective and fair criminal justice institutions.
As part of this work, OPDAT has assigned an experienced federal prosecutor to work at the SECI Regional Center for Combating Trans-border Crime (the "SECI Center") in Bucharest, and to serve as a Resident Legal Advisor to the SECI Center and to the Southeast European Prosecutors Advisory Group ("SEEPAG"). The RLA also participates in embassy initiatives relating to criminal laws and procedures, and training of prosecutors and other members of the judiciary. The RLA has participated in the expert working group drafting a new foundational treaty for the SECI Center and semi-annual meetings of SEEPAG, and has organized training sessions for prosecutors, including Romanian prosecutors.
It should be noted that the RLA is not available to serve as a lawyer for American or Romanian citizens for specific legal problems.