Press Release

American Airlines Donates Roundtrip Air Travel for a Second Time for NYPD's International Liaison Program

May 13, 2009

Contribution to Aid NYPD in Gathering Terrorism-Related Information Relevant to New York City in Key International Cities

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City announced today that for the second year,American Airlines pledged its support for the New York Police Department’sInternational Liaison Program. Due to the success of last year’s program, American Airlines will again provide round-trip travel for detectives in the 2009 program assigned in Europe, Canada and Santo Domingo. The donation—to be administered by theNew York City Police Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization to strengthen the services of the NYPD, which currently funds living and travel expenses for the NYPD officers working abroad—will provide seven of the eleven program participants with four round-trip travel vouchers each.

“We are grateful to American Airlines for once again partnering with the City to help support a vital program,” said First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris. “The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City continues to be an important vehicle for connecting the private sector with meaningful initiatives serving New Yorkers and—with the support of the NYC Police Foundation—the International Liaison Program will continue to strengthen the well-being of our city.”

“Time and again we hear about the women and men of the NYPD who risk their lives day in and day out for our safety,” said American Airlines’ Managing Director of State and Community Affairs Justin Bernbach. “The International Liaison Program is a true example of the lengths to which these brave law enforcement professionals go to protect our great city.  All of us at American Airlines are proud to once again support the great work of this program, the Police Foundation and the NYPD.”

The International Liaison Program, a highly regarded counter terrorism initiative established byPolice Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly in 2002, assigns NYPD detectives to key international cities where they work directly with their overseas counterparts in sharing information relevant to New York City. The Police Foundation currently funds living and travel expenses for NYPD officers working in Tel Aviv, London, Amman, Singapore, Santo Domingo, Toronto, Montreal, Paris, Lyons, Madrid and Abu Dhabi. The NYPD is responsible for the salaries for the officers in the program.

“Our detectives overseas are critical to the counterterrorism measures that help the Police Department everyday in keeping our city safe from attacks,” said Commissioner Kelly. “We commend American Airlines for its continued support of this important initiative.”

Intelligence support for decision-making in New York has been provided by NYPD detectives stationed around the world.  Most recently, the NYPD dispatched three senior officers to Mumbai shortly after the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, where they toured crime scenes, took photographs, and questioned police officials. By December 5, the NYPD’s Intelligence Division had produced an analysis, which was shared with the FBI.  Critical lessons learned from the Mumbai attacks have helped the NYPD and its partners beef up NYC hotel security, train NYPD officers in heavy weapons training, and execute tactical drills. In 2005, during the mass transit bombings in London, an NYPD detective working under the auspices of the Liaison Program was in the Tube at the time of the attacks, and after consulting with his Scotland Yard counterparts, he was able to provide details from the scene to Police Headquarters in New York. The swift information-sharing helped the NYPD quickly redeploy resources in a way to better protect New York’s subways and streets from any analogous attack here. The NYPD detective posted in Madrid responded to the 2005 bombing there with an Interpol team and was the first non-Spanish law enforcement person to arrive on the scene and begin transmitting back to the New York. Just last month, Commissioner Kelly met with Madrid’s General Coordinator of Security Jesus Mora de la Cruz and other Madrid police officials in New York City to sign an agreement that formalizes a liaison program between the two departments to thwart threats of terrorism against both municipalities.

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City serves as the umbrella non-profit a 501(c)(3) organization for the City of New York. The Mayor’s Fund works closely with City agencies and partnering organizations to support public programs serving New Yorkers in all five boroughs. The New York City Police Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization established in 1971 by business and civic leaders to support programs connected with the NYPD that cannot otherwise be readily funded. The Foundation sponsors programs such as the Crime Stoppers Hotline, the International Liaison Program and 1-800-GUN-STOP in addition to sponsoring specialized counterterrorism training, and stress and trauma counseling for police officers.