Jerald L. Fox
director, Office of International Education, 308.865.8246 or

Five Colombian National Police officers are studying English at the University of Nebraska at Kearney to prepare them to better work with American and international law enforcement agencies.

The officers, two women and three men, are lieutenants and captains in the Colombian National Police Force. In the fall semester they will study intensive English, shadow local police, and visit the Nebraska Highway Patrol and FBI to learn about American law enforcement procedures, said Jerry Fox, UNK director of International Education, the office overseeing the program.

The officers will also attend special lectures by UNK Departments of Criminal Justice and Political Science to help them better understand American culture and judicial procedures.  

The officers come to the university with no English skills. Fox said the university will help them become proficient in conversational and written English, as well as legal and law enforcement terminology through classroom work, conversation partners and excursions into the community with assignments to collect information.

The UNK program is the first with the Colombian police. The program will continue each year with 5-10 officers attending UNK. The program is funded by the Colombian government.

Fox said that the university, located in south central Nebraska, was chosen over more traditional training sites such as Miami because of the university’s established international programs. UNK’s international education office coordinates the enrollment of more than 400 undergraduate students from more than 40 countries. These students study a wide range of majors including science, business, computer science and pre-professional programs.

Fox said that the Midwestern placement will give the officers experience in law enforcement away from the coasts and allow them to observe police work outside of metropolitan areas.  

Colombian officers involved in the program are Capt. Jaime Guzman from Camarca, Capt. Doris Manosalva from Villeta, Lt. Oscar Ochoa from Bogota, Lt. Jair Parra from Oiba and Lt. Nelva Gomez of Popayan.