The following is a guest post from Craig Schwartz, a Lieutenant (for now) at Santa Rosa Police Department. He is posting on Facebook under the SRPD page. This is a copy of the first post. The intro is from the FBI website explaining the purpose of the academy.
I think you’ll agree–this kind of training only furthers the professionalism of all cops, through the ranks.
The National Academy
The FBI National Academy is a professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement leaders that serves to improve the administration of justice in police departments and agencies at home and abroad and to raise law enforcement standards, knowledge, and cooperation worldwide.
Its mission is “to support, promote, and enhance the personal and professional development of law enforcement leaders by preparing them for complex, dynamic, and contemporary challenges through innovative techniques, facilitating excellence in education and research, and forging partnerships throughout the world.”
Leaders and managers of state and local police, sheriffs’ departments, military police organizations, and federal law enforcement agencies. Participation is by invitation only, though a nomination process. Participants are drawn from every state in the union, from U.S. territories, and from over 150 international partner nations. See below for more details on graduates over the years.
The course of study.
For 10 classroom-hour weeks, four times a year, classes of some 250 officers take undergraduate and/or graduate college courses at our Quantico, Virginia, campus in the following areas: law, behavioral science, forensic science, understanding terrorism/terrorist mindsets, leadership development, communication, and health/fitness. Officers participate in a wide range of leadership and specialized training, and they share ideas, techniques, and experiences with each other, creating lifelong partnerships that span state and national lines.
We have finished our first week here in Quantico, with 10 to go. This has been a tremendous experience so far, with great classes and instructors along with excellent opportunities to meet and learn from other law enforcement leaders from around the world. There are 262 students in session 251 of the FBI National Academy, representing 49 states and over 20 foreign countries. I have met students from Kurdistan in northern Iraq, France, Argentina, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Great Britain, Afghanistan, Antigua, Ukraine, and more. It is interesting to talk to leaders from agencies in other states to learn how they deal with the law enforcement and management issues we all face. My roommate is from a small department in Kansas, with 13 employees serving a population of 5,000 people. Despite the small size of his agency, he has been able to share experiences with programs that are worth evaluating for our department.
I have six classes here. The classes are both graduate and undergraduate level courses accredited through the University of Virginia. The two I will focus on in this update are: Intelligence Theory and Application for Law Enforcement Managers; and Solving Ethical Dilemmas in Law Enforcement. The intelligence class focuses on using data and intelligence to drive law enforcement operations, as well as methods for sharing that information between law enforcement agencies. We will have several guest speakers in the class, including Debra Piehl, a project manager for Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS). The class on ethics has already resulted in lively discussions about moral and ethical dilemmas from history and those we currently face. It is a class that challenges our ideas about ourselves and how we look at the world. Both classes should provide excellent learning points to bring home with me.
The Academy also focuses a great deal on fitness, with three fitness classes each week and two physical challenges for students. One, the Yellow Brick Road, culminates in a 6.1 mile run which includes a 3+ mile section over the Marine Corps endurance course. There are 26 obstacles on the course. We participate in a challenge each week, until we do the Yellow Brick Road Course in week 10. Students who complete the challenge are awarded a yellow brick with their class number stenciled on it. The other challenge is for the blue brick. To complete that challenge students must swim at least 34 miles during the program. I’m five miles in after week 1.
Each Wednesday is an enrichment day, with guest speakers and other events scheduled. More on that next time…