The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) prides itself on being at the forefront of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Gentry Smith has made it a priority to expand the diversity of the organization by increasing its outreach to underserved communities.
As part of this outreach, DSS has expanded its attendance at affinity conferences throughout the country. Recently, DSS leadership and other personnel attended the 47th annual National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) conference in Cleveland, Ohio. NOBLE consists of community leaders who are united in its mission to promote justice, equity, and excellence in the administration of justice. Their motto is “Justice by Action,” words that DSS put into action by having the largest presence of any other law enforcement organization at the conference.
DSS came fully prepared to highlight its latest technology and security equipment. Its exhibit hall booth featured an armored vehicle that attendees could sit in, a counter-unmanned aerial systems simulation where participants could practice disabling a drone, and various other interactive displays that highlighted the latest and greatest that DSS has to offer. DSS recruiters and countermeasures specialists at the booth worked the crowd, encouraging people to try out the displays, explaining their purpose, and highlighting the allure of working for DSS.
In addition to providing an enticing exhibit hall booth, DSS hosted six workshops out of the nearly 90 held throughout the conference. According to NOBLE organizers, this was an unprecedented number of workshops for one organization to host at the conference and exemplified the DSS commitment to sharing its knowledge, best practices, and career opportunities with the NOBLE community. Workshops focused on:
- The challenges of the “one size fits all” DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) model;
- How DSS manages a crisis overseas;
- Ways that DSS serves as a global law enforcement police liaison;
- How DSS built a successful cybersecurity program and defends against cyber threats;
- How DSS confronts unmanned aircraft systems security challenges; and
- Where law enforcement and the private sector intersect.
“I would like to express my sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make DSS the most featured and impactful law enforcement organization at the 47th NOBLE Conference and Exhibition. This is not my statement. This statement was echoed over and over by our fellow senior law enforcement leaders and colleagues throughout this past weekend,” said A/S Smith.
NOBLE hosted a reception in honor of DSS and its contributions to the expansion of the organization’s international membership. In addition to NOBLE leadership, regional and domestic law enforcement, and private sector partners attended the reception to thank DSS for their work at the conference this year.
NOBLE Executive Darwin Cadogan who first created the connection between DSS and NOBLE said, “I saw the need to mesh DSS with a vehicle that could put together state and local officials so they can have a better understanding of DSS and the role that it plays in state and local law enforcement. This year is the largest DSS contingency to date that has ever attended a NOBLE conference, and my heart is filled with a lot of joy, pride, and admiration for the work that has been put into this conference by DSS.”
The theme for this year’s conference was “Stronger Together,” a sentiment that rings especially true after the COVID pandemic forced organizations into solitude. DSS exemplifies this attitude every day through its countless partnerships in more than 170 countries around the world. DSS leverages its strong relationships with its host nation counterparts to carry out its mission effectively and efficiently every day.