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myDHS - Scott Santoro, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
Podcast Series: 

Scott Santoro, Acting Deputy Assistant Director – Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), Washington, D.C. Office, discusses the many great opportunities to not just train law enforcement but to save lives.


Please welcome to the stage, Acting Deputy Assistant Director Scott Santoro, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Secretary Nielsen, Deputy Secretary Duke, distinguished guests. It's my honor to be here today. Good morning, my name is Scott Santoro and I'm with FLETC. I want to start by going back to 2001. I was actually a contract instructor with FLETC, back when we were under the Department of the Treasury. And at that time, I was a prosecuting attorney up in Seattle, Washington leading a domestic violence prosecution unit and I was brought in to help instruct their state and local law enforcement training on domestic violence. I officially joined FLETC in 2005 after they have fallen back in as is now with the Department of Homeland Security and I've seen firsthand the maturity of not only the Department, but also my own agency as well. Today FLETC is the premier training facility. We train 60,000 students a year. We have over 90 partner organizations. If I could sum up my career with DHS, it would be one word, opportunities. Early on, when I was brought on, I managed the course that was instructor for our domestic violence course. I then pushed and received the opportunity to expand that into a training for state and local law enforcement related to elder abuse because we saw a huge need that our law enforcement officers were seeing a lot more cases of financial exploitation in nursing home crimes and so FLETC led the charge in developing that course. However in 2009, my life changed dramatically because at that time, FLETC asked me to go from our headquarters in Georgia on a temporary assignment up here in Washington to work on this new initiative called human trafficking. What an incredible opportunity. FLETC led the way by creating training products before the Department even formed their current campaign to combat trafficking known as the Blue Campaign. I worked with a talented group of individuals from the department from HSI, CBP, TSA, USCIS and others to combat human trafficking and I'm proud to say that in essence, I'm basically legacy Treasury, and legacy Blue Campaign. I grew to become the senior training advisor for this campaign. And as I grew in that role, FLETC grew in that role behind me – they supported the campaign by producing over 30 scenario-based training videos on human trafficking to train law enforcement. We've created online courses, live delivery courses. Today, both the White House and the Department have prioritized combating human trafficking as a serious threat to our country both from a transnational perspective and domestic perspective and FLETC is right there with us. In fact, just this week, I was working on a brand new course with FLETC to bring instructor training to not only state and local but also federal law enforcement to deliver the DHS approved human trafficking curriculum everywhere in this country. My experience with DHS has been filled with opportunities. I just briefly wish to thank my leadership. Deputy Director Fallon is in the room. I want to thank the Secretary. I want to thank all of you for the work you're doing combating this crime, allowing FLETC to assist you in providing training on this. At the end of the day I'm just a prosecutor from Seattle who gets to work on a national level, not only training law enforcement but in essence saving lives. Thank you and thank you for the opportunities. [Applause]
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