Building Institutional Capacity for Maritime Law Enforcement in the Eastern Caribbean


The Eastern Caribbean increasingly faces maritime threats from transnational criminal organizations, raising maritime law enforcement to crucial importance. Criminal networks take advantage of the region’s porous borders to traffic illicit firearms, drugs, and people. A regional strategy to build criminal justice systems, disrupt the production and trafficking of illicit drugs, and minimize the impact of transnational organized criminal networks is required. The member states of the Regional Security System (RSS)—including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadine—need a unified operational approach for confronting maritime crime that fully addresses all operational, training, leadership, and international coordination planning needs.


SCG, in coordination with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), is supporting the RSS and its member states, to build capacity to conduct maritime law enforcement operations and investigations; dismantle transnational organized crime; and streamline criminal justice procedures, including through the following activities:

  • Developing a Maritime Law Enforcement Concept of Operations (MLE CONOPS). To ensure institutionalization, SCG is also assisting the RSS to create Standing Orders and training for CONOPS implementation.
  • Establishing a Transnational Organized Crime Task Force and developing standard operating procedures and training to institutionalize it.
  • Convening prosecutor case review meetings.
  • Creating an RSS Office of Professional Responsibility/ Internal Affairs (OPR/IA) Unit and developing standing operating procedures and trainings to institutionalize it.


Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) is a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the ability of the United States and its partners to build strategic security sector capacity both at home and abroad. SCG assists donor and recipient governments to assess institutional capacity, identify gaps, develop and implement solutions, and improve the sustainability and impact of reform.

SCG’s Institution Building Program enhances the strategic capacity of security services, ministries of defense, interior, and public security, andoperational and combatant commands to improve the sustainability and impact of modernization and reform programs. This is accomplished by:

  • Providing guidance to address policy and implementation gaps;
  • Assessing institution-building needs;
  • Designing and implementing capacity building support to meet identified needs; and
  • Advising on best practices to institutionalize enhanced processes and procedures to meet the recipient institution’s mission and goals.