Printer Friendly

FBI Academy: 25 years of law enforcement leadership.

May of 1972 stands out as a remarkable month in FBI history. Director J. Edgar Hoover's death on May 2 marked the end of an era. Yet, just when one door closed on the FBI's past, the doors of the new, ultramodern FBI Academy opened on its future. For 25 years, the FBI Academy has stood at the center of both national and international law enforcement training, assistance, and research. The future holds great promise as the Academy leads law enforcement into the 21st century.


Three main groups of students receive training at the FBI Academy. Representatives of municipal, county, state, federal, military, and foreign law enforcement agencies attend the National Academy and other specialized conference programs. FBI and DEA special agent trainees learn the responsibilities and skills required of them in their new positions. And, FBI employees attend courses to help them acquire new skills and enhance their capabilities.

National Academy Students

The changing nature of crime and law enforcement in the United States has shaped policing and police training programs over the years. In 1934, when the International Association of Chiefs of Police saw the positive results achieved by the FBI's formalized training for special agents, it asked that the Bureau provide similar instruction for police officers across the country.(1) FBI officials championed "more and better training for local police" to foster "stronger cooperation among all levels of law enforcement."(2) The FBI National Academy program, first convened in Washington, DC, in 1935, accomplishes this goal.

The success of this police training program led directly to construction of the new FBI Academy. In 1940, the FBI began conducting limited training at a small facility on the U.S. Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia. In 1965, Congress appropriated funds to expand the FBI training facility to render greater assistance to local and state law enforcement in the training and technical fields.(3)

In addition, a 2-year affiliation and accreditation study paved the way for the FBI Academy and the University of Virginia (UVA) to join as "partners in the quest for police professionalization"(4) in 1972. This vital partnership not only enabled National Academy students to earn college credit for their studies, it also bolstered staff development and program enhancement in all facets of Academy instruction?

When the 90th session of the National Academy inaugurated the halls of the new facility, the number of students quadrupled and hovered around 1,000 students per year until 1997. Session size in 1997 and 1998 will increase gradually, eventually accommodating 1,200 students per year.

In 1972, the curriculum also differed somewhat from the courses studied by the early sessions. National Academy courses stopped emphasizing the vocational skills of policing and started focusing on five academic disciplines - behavioral science, education and communication, forensic science, law, and management science - to provide "insights for the police manager functioning in a complex industrial, primarily urban society."(6)

Those five core courses have grown into more than 45 choices for today's National Academy students attending the 11-week program. Health and fitness courses have been added to recognize the importance of healthful living to manage the stress and vigors of carrying out law enforcement duties. Some new courses reflect trends in youth and gang crime, white-collar crime, and computer-related crime. Other course additions include community policing, communication skills, budgeting and finance matters, personnel issues, stress management, and ethics.

The relationship between the National Academy students and the FBI does not end with graduation. Of the program's 29,000 graduates, more than 19,000 are still involved in law enforcement. Approximately 15,000 of those graduates belong to the National Academy Associates, Inc. (NAA), a membership organization with 44 U.S. chapters and 4 international chapters. The NAA sponsors refresher training, supported by the National Academy Unit and the Academy's faculty, at both the local chapter level and at a yearly national conference. Moreover, National Academy graduates now are being called upon to train international and domestic law enforcement agencies in partnership with the FBI.

Special Agent Trainees

Following highly competitive selection processes, newly hired agents for both the FBI and the DEA come to the Academy for several months of intensive training. They prepare both mentally and physically to tackle the challenges of federal law enforcement.


When the new Academy opened, the then-14-week training program for new agents relocated from Washington, DC, to Quantico. The current curriculum requires 16 weeks of instruction.

The Special Agents Training Unit draws faculty from throughout the Academy to provide instruction to the students. In addition, each class has two field counselors, experienced special agents on temporary duty who help the students adjust to life in the FBI. Field counselors have a unique personal opportunity to contribute to the future of the FBI by providing leadership and being mentors to trainees during their critical early development as special agents. The impressions made during training have impact throughout an agent's career.(7)

The curriculum equips students with the knowledge and technical skills they need to perform the complex duties of special agents. Some of the topics studied include legal issues, communication, interviewing, criminal behavior, forensic science, white-collar crime, foreign counterintelligence, organized crime, drugs, and ethics.

In the 1980s, the New Agents Training Center, which contains a mock field office and courtroom, and Hogan's Alley,(8) the Academy's practical-problem training complex, were built. The Practical Applications Unit helps students practice what they learn from classroom presentations by leading them through multi-disciplinary exercises staged in the mock town. Using techniques developed on Hollywood movie sets to give the buildings' facades the illusion of depth and space, the architects designed the interiors to serve as classrooms, offices, shops for the grounds and maintenance staff, and a modern television studio.(9) The mock town appears so realistic that, according to rumor, a contract construction worker recently inquired about purchasing a vehicle from the simulated used car lot.

Physical training represents a significant component of the curriculum. At Quantico, agent trainees work to raise and maintain their health and fitness levels. They also learn defensive tactics that enable them to handle arrests confidently, professionally, and safely. Many of the drills run by the Physical Training Unit help agents build confidence in their ability to perform effectively while physically tired, stressed, frightened, or apprehensive.

Agent trainees also must develop proficiency with firearms. The Firearms Training Unit teaches new agents to handle Bureau-issued handguns, shotguns, and carbines. Students practice fundamental marksmanship, combat and survival shooting, and judgmental shooting.

To improve their driving skills and confidence and reduce the possibility of accidents, students receive classroom instruction in vehicle dynamics, defensive driving principles, and legal and liability issues. Students also are given skill development exercises in skid control, performance driving, and evasive driving techniques at the new Tactical Emergency Vehicle Operations Center (TEVOC). The center opened in 1994, eliminating the need to send students to New York State for driving instruction.


In 1985, the DEA moved its training program to the Academy. The Office of Training conducts its basic agents course and coordinates the agency's in-service, specialized, and supervisory/management training initiatives. The DEA shares the dormitories, office space, and all training facilities of the Academy.

The 16-week basic agents course covers academic, tactical, practical, firearms, and legal topics. Courses include undercover operations, money laundering, conspiracy law, and ethics. Practical exercises at Hogan's Alley help the students master the intricacies of worldwide drug law enforcement.

Before they graduate, agents pair with a field training agent (FTA) from the office where they will be stationed. The FTAs attend a 1-week seminar at the Academy to polish their counseling skills, be briefed on the training basic agents receive, and meet their trainees. This eliminates one more mystery for the students and helps them make the transition to their offices of assignment.


For many years, the FBI has provided training and assistance to the United States' international law enforcement allies. Police officials from other countries have attended the National Academy, as well as other short courses offered. both in the United States and abroad. The justification is simple. Over time, crime has become international in scope; criminals once confined within a country's borders now operate on a global scale, and law enforcement must adjust to this new playing field.

In 1993, the FBI consolidated and expanded its international police training role and located it primarily at the FBI Academy. The international training program staff coordinates the analysis of foreign agencies' training needs, courses conducted both inside and outside the United States, and FBI instructor development and cultural awareness training.

The staff also manages several regional training programs - the Mexican American Law Enforcement Training (MALET) initiative for state, federal, and judicial police working in the vicinity of the U.S.-Mexican border, the Pacific Rim Training Initiative (PTI) for officers from law enforcement agencies in the Pacific region, and the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) for officers from Eastern Europe and the newly independent states. In addition, the FBI's Practical Case Training Program provides on-the-job training through joint case investigation by U.S. and foreign law enforcement counterparts.(10)

The seminars presented at the FBI Academy vary in subject matter according to the needs of the recipients, but generally relate to investigative techniques in such areas as counterterrorism, white-collar crime, drugs, and organized crime. FBI instructors, drawn from the ranks of experienced agents throughout the Bureau, teach courses relating to internal affairs, ethics, police management, and leadership, as well as criminal forensic investigation, interviewing, and the legal aspects of police work. Law enforcement officers and judicial personnel from a wide range of countries in South America, Asia, and Europe have been trained at the Academy.(11)

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, crime rates have risen dramatically in Russia, Eastern Europe, and the newly independent states. Law enforcement officers in those countries need training in conducting investigations and maintaining order in a free society. To meet these needs, the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, Hungary, was created. The first group of students began training at ILEA in April 1995.(12)

The University of Virginia's Division of Continuing Education has played a vital role in developing the ILEA program.(13) The UVA staff, in conjunction with FBI officials, prepared special agents to teach at ILEA, designed and coordinated the international law enforcement needs assessment and curriculum committee meetings, and created a continuous evaluation process for the ILEA program to ensure delivery of high-quality, relevant instruction.(14)

The multinational training program succeeds only through the joint efforts of the entire international law enforcement community. FBI Academy faculty and staff cooperate closely with numerous domestic federal law enforcement agencies and academic institutions, as well as with representatives from international law enforcement agencies and foreign countries.(15) Patterned after the FBI National Academy, ILEA provides 8 weeks of personal and professional development training for up to 50 students in each of the five sessions per year. In the future, FBI Director Freeh hopes to replicate ILEA's success in other parts of the world.

Formal Conferences

While the National Academy and new agents training have always been the two largest programs hosted by the Academy, the full range of training is much broader. From executive training to forensic science conferences, the FBI Academy provides the forum for a tremendous array of instruction.

For example, top law enforcement executives can take advantage of several programs offered by the Leadership and Management Science Unit that provide both instruction and opportunities to make contacts with other agencies. The National Executive Institute (NEI) comprises three 5-day cycles held in March, June, and September for executives from the nation's largest agencies and international agencies of similar size. Started in 1976, NEI covers future social, economic, and political trends and current legal, media, ethical, and managerial issues. Instructors include leading figures in academia, business, and government. Similarly, the Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS), created in 1981 as a 2-week course for national and international police administrators of medium-sized agencies, focuses on trends and contemporary issues affecting law enforcement.

In 1984, the FBI's Legal Instruction Unit established the week-long National Law Institute (NLI) to provide legal training to police legal advisors and expanded the program in 1989 to include state and local prosecutors and city attorneys. NLI convenes when other training demands do not preclude offering the course.

Numerous criminal justice topics form the basis for specialized schools at the Academy. Officers can attend courses on management, communication issues, behavioral sciences, firearms, and forensic technologies.(16)

A variety of in-service schools rounds out the training conducted at the Academy, ranging from supervision to antiterrorist evasive driving and from information technology to critical incident stress counseling. FBI agents and local police officers who serve on joint task forces attend the Law Enforcement Training Safety and Survival course, commonly referred to as "Street Survival Training."

FBI Training Network

The Academy plays a critical role in the training and assistance offered by the FBI, but the physical limitations of the facility make it impossible for every officer in every agency to take part in the courses conducted at Quantico. Therefore, the Bureau continually has sought ways to use advanced technology to deliver training to the field. The FBI Training Network (FBITN) encompasses several of the Academy's various distance learning initiatives, including "Viewpoints from the FBI Academy" programs, satellite teleconferences, and videoconferencing.(17)

The FBI and the Kansas City Police Department began producing satellite teleconferences in 1986. The first teleconference occurred on March 5, 1986, when more than 1,000 police officers at 32 viewing sites across the country took part in a discussion of advanced hostage negotiations.(18)

Nine years later, the Law Enforcement Communication Unit at the FBI Academy assumed full responsibility for production and broadcast of these programs, which air every other month. Each 2-hour teleconference consists of a live panel discussion with an opportunity for viewer interaction through a toll-free call-in number.

Personnel in the Instructional Technology Services Unit (ITSU) handle the broadcast and studio production aspects from the newly renovated, technologically sophisticated television studio located in Hogan's Alley. New digital editing technology has enabled the ITSU staff to create exceptionally high-quality video productions. The satellite teleconferences now reach more than 16,000 subscribers through 1,500 viewing locations nationwide.

In March 1991, the first "Viewpoints from the Academy" program aired on the Law Enforcement Television Network (LETN).(19) These monthly, half-hour interviews feature Academy faculty members discussing current law enforcement issues, offering the FBI's viewpoint based on the instructors' research and experience.

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

In April 1992, the Bureau moved the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin from Washington, DC, to Quantico in recognition of its key role in law enforcement training. This monthly journal provides articles on leadership and police administration, current police techniques, emerging crime problems and the tools to combat them, and training. Each issue also includes an article on a current legal topic written by a member of the Academy's Legal Instruction Unit. Most articles are written by criminal justice practitioners, including many Academy faculty members and National Academy graduates.

As the most widely read journal of its kind in the world, the Bulletin reaches an estimated 200,000 law enforcement personnel each month. For some small agencies that cannot afford to send officers to often-distant and expensive schools, the Bulletin fills the training gap.


For decades, the FBI has championed the notion that the Bureau should aid state and local law enforcement officers in carrying out their duties. The exponential growth of the National Academy program in 1972 strengthened this tradition. Even after the students graduate, their ties to the Academy remain strong. They frequently contact their former instructors for informal advice, and other members of the law enforcement community also seek out the faculty and staff for investigative and operational guidance.

Experts at the Academy field questions on topics ranging from statement analysis to crime analysis, ammunition tests to fitness tests, labor relations to media relations, pursuit driving techniques to evidence collection techniques, and more. This type of assistance has become one of the hallmarks of the FBI Academy and sometimes has spawned more formal methods of serving the law enforcement community. The Forensic Science Research and Training Center (FSRTC) and the Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) exemplify the FBI's collaborative efforts.

Forensic Science Research and Training Center

In 1981, the FBI Laboratory moved its research and training components to the Academy to allow its scientists to focus on developing new forensic techniques and to expand the training and resources provided to the law enforcement community. The FSRTC contains specially equipped laboratories for studying such specialized forensic topics as DNA testing; examination of document, hair and fiber, and footwear and tire impression evidence; explosives analysis; and more.

FSRTC instructors train FBI and DEA new agents in laboratory services and capabilities, collection and preservation of physical evidence, fingerprints, and photography. National Academy courses cover management-oriented issues related to laboratory operations, crime scenes, surveillance and identification photography, fingerprint technology, and other forensic and technical services. Forensic science faculty members also offer specialized in-service programs for special agents, laboratory examiners, and technicians.(20)

Since 1983, the FSRTC has hosted international symposia at the Academy on such pertinent topics as forensic immunology, mass disasters and crime scene reconstruction, and trace evidence.(21) FSRTC personnel provide operational assistance to other crime laboratories and make information available through the Forensic Science Information Resource System(22) and the Crime Laboratory Digest,(23) a semiannual journal published by the FBI Laboratory that provides timely articles on technical and scientific data and methodology to an audience of nearly 5,000 crime laboratories and law enforcement agencies.(24)

FSRTC personnel also support the FBI's Evidence Response Teams (ERT). In addition to training, they provide equipment and supplies to the field office ERTs, which regularly participate in FBI investigations related to kidnappings, drugs, bank robberies, extortion, civil rights, and domestic terrorism. These teams have responded to major crime scenes around the world.(25)

Critical Incident Response Group

As the Academy approached its 10th year of operation, American society saw violent crime reach re, cord proportions. The Academy quickly became the focal point for developing the FBI's response to the violent crime problem. In 1984, the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) was established to consolidate the crime-fighting efforts of various law enforcement agencies across the country into "one national resource center available to the entire law enforcement community."(26)

The program evolved as the Academy grew and the faculty gained expertise in various areas, including child abduction, serial homicide, and serial rape, as well as in other unusual, bizarre, or repetitive violent crimes.

In time, several crisis management functions also developed. The Academy became home to the FBI's hostage negotiators, crisis management experts, and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) trainers, as well as the behavioral science specialists who generate profiles of unknown offenders, conduct personality assessments, and analyze patterns in serial crimes. In addition, the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), the special counter-terrorist force formed in 1983, was stationed at Quantico even though it reported to the FBI's Washington Field Office.(27)

Post-incident analyses of the events at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, revealed the need to unite the FBI's crisis management resources under one umbrella. Consequently, in May 1994, the director formed the Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) to provide rapid emergency response to a variety of crises, including terrorist activities, hostage takings, and barricaded subject situations.

Since then, several high-profile incidents have required CIRG's services. For example, crisis managers assisted with the Oklahoma City bombing investigation, and critical incident negotiators helped successfully resolve the standoff with the Freemen in Montana. Many less notorious cases receive attention from CIRG's specialists, who regularly provide investigative support to local and state agencies' confronted with abductions or mysterious disappearances of children, serial or mass murders, or arson and bombing cases, thus supporting the original goals of the NCAVC.

Yet, CIRG's biggest successes are the critical incidents that never happen. The group works with law enforcement officers across the country and around the world to prevent sieges, hostage takings, and other crises.(28)


Research forms an integral component of the Academy's mission. The FBI is in a unique position to conduct research and build expertise in areas useful to law enforcement. The Academy plays an important role by identifying those areas, developing that knowledge, and then sharing it with law enforcement agencies.(29)

By conducting research projects, the faculty and staff continually enhance and update the instruction delivered at the Academy, develop new means of assisting law enforcement agencies, and help FBI employees perform their duties safely and effectively. The staff of the Research and Analysis Center in the Office of Information and Learning Resources often helps design and analyze the various studies Academy personnel undertake.

Enhancing Instruction

Research often provides course material to keep students abreast of trends and developments in all aspects of law enforcement. In addition, Academy staff members periodically conduct surveys to identify the training needs of law enforcement in general and specific subgroups in particular, so Academy faculty can develop courses to meet those needs.

A recent example stems from research into the field of law enforcement ethics. Inquiry into the impact of ethical principles on law enforcement by faculty in the Leadership and Management Science and the Behavioral Science units led to the development of training for FBI and DEA employees, National Academy participants, and members of other domestic and foreign police agencies. In 1996, the FBI created the Office of Law Enforcement Ethics at the Academy to coordinate and manage ethics and integrity initiatives.

Assisting Law Enforcement

The Academy has nurtured some noteworthy research in the past quarter-century. Much of this research has provided investigative assistance to law enforcement officers in the areas of behavioral assessment or profiling. Researchers have examined patterns in incidents of serial murder, sexual assault, hate crime, bombing, hostage taking, and more. Academy faculty have scrutinized computer crime, weaponry and ballistics, survival awareness, major case management, ethical misconduct, futures research, and management issues to provide guidance in these matters to the law enforcement community. Academy faculty also have published research results in numerous publications, including the Investigative Training Unit's Investigative Sources of Information, which lists commercial and private databases.

Scientists at the Academy's Forensic Science Research and Training Center focus on developing new and improved methods for analyzing forensic evidence. They concentrate on biochemistry, genetics, chemistry, and physics. In collaboration with researchers from academia, the private sector, and other government laboratories, they explore new theories or technologies and evaluate current forensic methods.

One of the most significant research initiatives at the Academy involves DNA analysis technology. Research on DNA typing methods began in 1985. By July 1987, a team of researchers was formed to develop rigorous DNA analysis methods for use in the FBI Laboratory. DNA typing has become a powerful tool for assisting in the inclusion or exclusion of an individual as a source of biological evidence left at a crime scene. The FBI Laboratory not only has developed reliable procedures for estimating the rarity of a DNA profile in the population, it also has launched a major effort to collect population data worldwide to support the use of DNA statistics and the reliability of DNA typing technology and its application to forensic analyses.

The FBI also enlists the efforts of qualified scientists from outside the Bureau to participate in original research projects in their areas of expertise. The Visiting Scientist Program organizes projects conducted jointly by incoming scientists and FSRTC staff. To attract qualified students into forensic science professions, the staff hosts the Student Intern Program. During the summer, students participate in ongoing research projects.(30)

Augmenting FBI Operations

Another significant objective of research conducted at the Academy is to improve the methods of carrying out the FBI's investigative responsibilities. This involves improving investigative technology, assessing and fulfilling training and equipment needs, and identifying services that the FBI should provide employees.

Much of the technological research conducted by the FBI occurs at the Engineering Research Facility (ERF). A component of the FBI's Information Resources Division, the ERF opened at the Academy in 1992. ERF personnel develop and support the communications, security, and surveillance equipment used in field operations.

Sometimes, Academy researchers assess job demands and determine the training and equipment employees need to fulfill those demands. For example, the Firearms Training Unit (FTU) has conducted extensive research into a variety of firearms-related issues. Over the years, FTU personnel have evaluated weapons, ammunition, and related gear; developed and improved interactive scenarios to prepare agents and law enforcement officers for violent encounters; and monitored the myriad range safety issues that arise.

In other instances, research identifies a service the agency should offer its employees. For example, the Bureau redesigned and expanded its Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in response to a 1990 needs assessment. The EAP now provides referrals to mental health resources, training to all employees, critical incident stress debriefings, peer support, and a chaplaincy program to respond to the emotional and psychological needs of all FBI employees and their immediate family members.


On the 25th anniversary of the Academy, those who have worked to build the institution, who raised the quality of the education, the services, and the research provided by the Academy, should be proud of what has been accomplished. Yet, this is also a time to look forward. How will the Academy change in the years ahead? What role will it play in shaping the future of law enforcement?

Computer Technology

Some of the largest foreseeable changes involve computer technology. The faculty and staff are working to update and integrate computer applications into all aspects of the Academy's mission. Computer technology will serve the Academy in three ways: as a training vehicle, an investigative tool, and an administrative supplement.(31)

As a training tool, computer technology will enable instructors to automate their classroom presentations and weave audio and video clips into their lectures and slides. In the future, students will be able to pursue self-paced, specialized training delivered by CD-ROM technology; courses will be offered to students in distant locations via satellite and videoconferencing; and lesson plans and course materials will be made available to law enforcement trainers worldwide via the Internet or the Law Enforcement OnLine (LEO) network.(32) The Academy dormitories soon will be wired for computer hookups in each room, and officials are establishing an Internet domain for the Academy to make the re sources of the Internet available to all students and faculty.

As an investigative tool, computer technology will help officers follow leads, sort out complex white-collar crime investigations, analyze evidence, and acquire assistance from other agencies around the globe. In the future, the use of secure communications links might allow experts at the Academy to examine evidence visually and consult with case agents and law enforcement officers in remote locations.

As an administrative supplement, computer technology will streamline the services provided by the Academy. For example, students will be able to register for National Academy courses via computer, and electronic mail will make it easier to communicate with Academy experts and acquire information. Researchers will be able to share data and track projects more efficiently.

Distance Learning

In 1996, the Academy established a number of distance learning initiatives, taking a cutting-edge, multimedia approach to training FBI employees and members of the law enforcement community. Designed to supplement, not replace, training offered at the Academy, it includes satellite training, videoconferencing, computer-based training, interactive video, and CD-ROM technology. Several pilot programs are underway.

Revitalized Research

Research always has been an integral component of the Academy, although other training demands have superseded it in recent years. The future holds renewed emphasis on research and publication as the foundation of the Academy's training. Continual faculty development will enhance the ability to conduct sound research, and advisory boards will bring members of the law enforcement community together to help identify areas for study. Instructors will translate their progressive, insightful research into dynamic training for all of the students who come to the Academy.

Facilities Expansion

When it opened in 1972, the campus contained nearly all of the features of a small town. It had twin, seven-story dormitories, a dining hall, refreshment bar, bank, post office, barbershop, and general store. Designers equipped the classroom building with state-of-the-art instructional technology, and the library held an extensive criminal justice collection. The physical training center, with gymnasium, weight room, and pool, the indoor and outdoor ranges, and the administration building also were operational. The 1,000-seat auditorium, Hall of Honor, chapel, and garage were completed the following year. Workers later enclosed the walkways between the buildings, creating the fondly nicknamed "gerbil tubes."(33) In the 1980s, the FBI added the Jefferson Dormitory, making it possible for more than 950 students to live at the Academy.

Construction projects seem to be a continuous presence at the Academy, and several have been planned for the immediate future. Under the guidance of the Office of Design and Construction, the facilities will be upgraded to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. An updated Range Training Center is in the works, along with construction of a new Tactical Firearms Training Center.

Ground has been broken for the Justice Training Center (JTC), scheduled to open in the summer of 1999. The center primarily will house DEA students and will be integrated with the Academy complex. The facility will enable the DEA to centralize its training efforts and save an estimated $300,000 per month, thus paying for itself in 8 years.

The JTC also will strengthen the bond between the FBI and the DEA. DEA's colocation at the FBI Academy has been extremely beneficial to both agencies' training programs and field operations. The future promises a continued strong and productive relationship between the two organizations.(34)

Several other major construction projects are on the horizon. In 2000, the FBI Laboratory Division will move to the Academy from FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC. Also, contingent upon approved funding, a tract of land south of the Justice Training Center has been reserved for a Critical Incident Response Group complex.

The planned expansion of the facility will bring new challenges to the skilled staff members who keep the buildings and grounds in first-class condition; maintain order and protect the students, staff, visitors, facilities, and highly sensitive operational and training materials; handle the complicated scheduling, financial, and personnel duties; and also provide the mail, reception, and other administrative services that keep the Academy running smoothly. Together, these employees will continue to create a positive image that makes the Academy a showpiece for the FBI.


The FBI's training programs started in the 1930s and originally emphasized the vocational skills of policing. When the FBI Academy opened, the emphasis shifted toward the academic and managerial aspects of policing. The Academy's focus is changing again, and future programs will concentrate on leadership in policing.

Much of the training offered at the Academy has dealt with the personal and professional development of the individual students who attend it. To multiply the impact of the training, instructors must help students develop a vision for the future of law enforcement, share that vision with their organizations, and then move people toward it.(35)

Law enforcement needs entrepreneurs and forward thinkers. The Academy's faculty hopes to provide a glimpse of the future and to get students to buy into it.(36) As the law enforcement profession continues to grow, the Academy will play an important role in developing its future leaders.


The FBI Academy, like any good academic institution, possesses a life that transcends its physical confines. Ideas are born there through study and research, and those ideas, shared through instruction and consultation, become part of the larger law enforcement community. The experiences of practitioners in the field flow back to the Academy to refresh the concepts, raise new questions, and lead to new ideas. The Academy focuses the energy of the creative and fertile minds of both the students and the instructors.

Over time, the FBI Academy has become a law enforcement melting pot. Personnel from various headquarters divisions and field offices, disparate academic and scientific disciplines, and a cross-section of international, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies have come together to teach and learn from one another. They share a common goal - developing the profession of law enforcement.

Over the past 25 years, the dedicated faculty and staff of the FBI Academy have provided expert instruction, progressive research, and vital services to law enforcement agencies around the world. In the coming years, new generations of conscientious professionals will continue to ask the tough questions, find the best answers, and share them with colleagues joined in the struggle to defeat crime wherever it might be found.


1 Hugh Clegg, "The Origin of the FBI [National] Academy," manuscript draft, December 16, 1976.

2 "FBI Training Programs," FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, May and June 1968, revised 1971, 1.

3 Ibid., 4.

4 Kenneth E. Joseph and James A. O'Connor, "The FBI Academy, 1984," FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, July 1979, 25.

5 Since the early 1980s, the contributions of both institutions have been honored through the Jefferson Award - given by UVA for significant research, publication, and curriculum development by the Academy's faculty - and the Erickson Award - given by the FBI for major contributions to the success of the Academy's programs by members of the UVA community.

6 Supra note 4, 25-26.

7 John O. Louden, St., section chief for administration/training, interview by author, Quantico, VA, December 19, 1996.

8 The original Hogan's Alley consisted of a set of building facades on the firearms range equipped with pop-up targets. The name carried over to the practical-training complex constructed in the 1980s.

9 James R. Pledger, "Hogan's Alley, The FBI Academy's New Training Complex," FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, December 1988, 6-9.

10 William G. Eubanks, section chief for international training and automation, unpublished remarks, FBI LEGAT Conference, November 8, 1996.

11 Judd Ray, "International Training," unpublished manuscript, 1997.

12 "U.Va. Helping East European Countries Cope with Rising Crime," Inside UVA, August 25, 1995.

13 William G. Eubanks, section chief for international training and automation, interview by author, Quantico, VA, January 28, 1997.

14 Lois Knowles, UVA center director, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA, Progress Report, March 1994-May 1996.

15 Domestic training partners include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Customs Service; Departments of State, Energy, and Treasury; Drug Enforcement Administration; Internal Revenue Service; Secret Service; Federal Law Enforcement Training Center; and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. International partners include the U.N. Committee for Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice; Council of Europe; Interpol; and International Curriculum Committee representatives from Austria, Canada, Denmark, England, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, and Sweden.

16 Ginny Field, "The FBI Academy, A Marketplace for Ideas," FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, January 1992, 17-18.

17 For more information about any of the FBITN programs or to request an order form for videotaped copies of any show, contact Tom Christenberry, FBITN program manager, by phone at 800-862-7577 or by facsimile at 703640-1673.

18 Michael P. Kortan and Tony E. Triplett, "Joint Satellite Venture Yields Down-to-Earth Benefits," FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, June 1987, 2-3.

19 LETN is a cable television network dedicated to law enforcement topics.

20 Denise K. Bennett, "Forensic Science Research and Training Center," unpublished report, 1996.

21 Ibid.

22 Supra note 16, 19.

23 The Crime Laboratory Digest is published in cooperation with the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors.

24 Denise K. Bennett, managing editor, Crime Laboratory Digest, interview by author, Quantico, VA, January 30, 1997.

25 Supra note 20.

26 Roger L. Depue, "An American Response to an Era of Violence," FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, December 1986, 4.

27 Robin L. Montgomery, special agent in charge, Critical Incident Response Group, interview by author, Quantico, VA, January 28, 1997; and supra note 16, 19-20.

28 Ibid.

29 Joseph R. Wolfinger, assistant director, Training Division, interview by author, Quantico, VA, December 16, 1996.

30 Supra note 20.

31 Jeffrey Higginbotham, deputy assistant Director, Training Division, interview by author, Quantico, VA, December 31, 1996.

32 LEO is a secure computer network dedicated to law enforcement.

33 "FBI National Academy, A Tradition of Excellence and Accomplishment," FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, July 1975, revised October 1979, 2.

34 David L. Westrate, special agent in charge, Office of Training, Drug Enforcement Administration, interview by author, Quantico, VA, January 13, 1997.

35 Supra note 29.

36 John Henry Campbell, academic dean and section chief for instruction, interview by author, Quantico, VA, November 19, 1996.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Federal Bureau of Investigation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Linkins, Julie R.
Publication:The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Date:May 1, 1997
Previous Article:Extending the Mimms rule to include passengers.
Next Article:What's in a name? Gang monikers.

Related Articles
Combating violence by building partnerships.
The FBI and the elderly.
Safe streets: combining resources to address violent crime.
Militias: initiating contact.
Virtual learning: distance education for law enforcement.
Fighting terrorism in the 21st century.
The Community Outreach Program.
Institutional Integrity: The Four Elements of Self-Policing.
The Future of Law Enforcement Safety Training in the Face of Terrorism.
Training for law enforcement managers: what does professional military education offer?

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters