Delegation Spotlight: Criminal Evidence Management – Georgia

We were pleased to welcome our International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) delegation from Georgia with a focus on Criminal Evidence Management last week.

While in the Triangle, the five-member delegation and their interpreters had the chance to visit with representatives of NC’s judicial, legislative, and enforcement branches to talk about criminal justice, trial court systems, and evidence procurement and management procedures and regulation.

On the science side, our guests visited North Carolina State University’s Forensic Science Institute, where they discussed multi- and interdisciplinary approaches to forensics and forensics education with Dr. Nelson Vinueza and Dr. Kelly Meiklejohn. 

Of course, the trip included some culture and sightseeing too. They visited a gospel service at First Baptist Church, enjoyed the NC Museum of Art and its park, checked out the NC State Flea Market and downtown Raleigh, and enjoyed gracious home hospitality from International Focus Members, Jim Merchant and Shoshana Serxner Merchant as well as John Lawton and Beth Millwood.

In Depth

Our Communication Intern, Delaney Rhodes, sat down for an interview with Mamuka Vasaladze of the delegation.

What is your current position?

“I am the First Deputy Prosecutor General of Georgia.”

Why do you believe you were selected as a participant of the IVLP program?

“Because of my job. My everyday work is supervising investigations in the financial police of Georgia, in the intelligence agencies of Georgia, and investigations in prosecutor service. I work every day with evidence management. We need rich experience about evidence management, and that is why I am here — to receive experience from the U.S.A. law enforcement agencies.”

What was one of your hopes for your time with the IVLP program in the United States?

“My hope is to receive the best experience from the U.S.A. law enforcement agencies because the U.S.A. has better experience doing their jobs in law enforcement. I want to implement this information in law enforcement agencies in Georgia. We are working with the U.S. Embassy in Georgia, and have a partnership to better develop our agencies. They help us in many respects.”

What does the topic of “Criminal Evidence Management” mean to you?

“For me, it means how to keep, seize, manage, and secure evidence and take it to the court hearings. As a prosecutor, my target is to win cases and prosecute the bad guys.”

Is North Carolina what you expected, or has it surprised you in any way?

“Raleigh is a peaceful and comfortable place. The people are very hospitable. We met the home hospitality family and they hosted us very well. It was my best evening in the U.S.”

Can you please share a memory from the IVLP program in Raleigh?

“We have seen the City Court and met with a judge who shared with us his experience with court hearings and evidence management. We saw a crime lab, the sheriff’s office, and the U.S. attorney general’s office and all of them shared with us a rich experience with evidence management.”

“Today we were in the sheriff’s office where they have the best criminal evidence management. They explained every detail of their management systems. It was very useful information for us. We also saw some cultural places. We visited the Art Museum, Science Museum, and History Museum.”

“The IVLP program lets you see and share in other countries, both professional and cultural. You will meet people in the countries and receive very useful information to develop your country.”

“My wish is more recipients would come to Raleigh and receive information to develop their countries to make their law enforcement or other agencies more efficient.”

As you prepare to leave North Carolina, what is one thing you’ve learned from this program that you will carry back to your home community in Georgia?

“It very difficult to say one thing, because my visit has taken the best place in my memory. One thing is the hospitality of the people because Georgia is also very hospitable and I feel in Raleigh as if I am in my country.”

What would you like to share with all of us about your home country of Georgia?

“My country is a little but very hospitable country. The population is about five million. We have the seaside, the mountains, and everything in between. I want people to know they are welcomed in Georgia.”