Associate Magazine - FBINAA - Q4 - 2022
Continued from "The FBI Academy’s 50th Anniversary", on page 9
Nor was the Academy simply a new facility. Along with the image of a modern academic campus, the Bureau worked with the University of Virginia (UVA) to develop a deeper relationship. By 1972, the Bureau and UVA were finishing a two-year affiliation and accreditation study and agreed to formally partner to advance police professionalization. Now, the National Academy could work with UVA instructors as well as provide its students access to UVA course work and credit. Our training was shifting from the old emphasis on the “nuts-and-bolts”/”how-to” skills that National Academy students could adapt to creating professional police training upon their return home to the development of in-depth academic studies aimed to help modern police managers function in an increasingly complex world. The first NA classes at the Academy emphasized the latest in sights into police work/criminal studies in the fields of behavioral science, education, forensic science, law, and management sci ence. Within a few years, in large part due to our arrangement with UVA, the Academy was able to offer some 30 academic courses and earn up to 16 semester hours of undergraduate credit or nine hours of graduate credit. New facilities also made training for police management possible. In 1976, Director Kelley instituted the National Executive Institute to meet the needs of the chief executives of the largest of the U.S. police agencies. By 1981, this managerial training had become so important that the Academy’s Management Science and Leadership Unit of the Training Division offered the first Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar [LEEDS]. The course was offered at the Bureau’s Academy at Quantico in coop eration with the University of Virginia. LEEDS was aimed at chiefs of mid-level police departments and remains an important spur to developing professionalism at all steps of the law enforcement career ladder. Nor were the latest developments and applications of foren sic science forgotten. It remained a key link between the founding purpose of the FBI Academy and National Academy of the 1930s and the new Academy. Although the Bureau’s Forensic Science Unit only offered one course as the new Academy opened, that changed rapidly. Training in fingerprint identification, for exam ple, led to the development of the Administrative Advanced Latent Fingerprint Course, the first specialized police course taught at the Academy to be accredited by the University of Virginia. The Latent Print Photography course was granted accreditation too. In 1977, the Bureau began to pursue funding for the development of a Forensic Science Training Center at Quantico and in 1981 the new center opened its doors on the campus to increase both the training offerings in forensic science and the investigation of new applications that would advance our application of the latest scientific and technical advances. By the 1980s, more than forty forensic science related courses were available. Another key connection between old and new Academies, was an embrace of fitness. The tally of weight lost by class had been a feature of pride for our classes, a key marker of the training rigor that students embraced. In 1981, a new tradition was intro duced – the NA Fitness Challenge. Pride at completing the 6.1-mile obstacle course was a pinnacle step for Academy trainees; and in 1988 it was immortalized with the award of a “yellow brick” in memory of the course markers challengers followed as they tackled the course. As we know, NA graduates world-wide proudly display their bricks, a sign both physical and ineffable of their achievement at Quantico.
The Quantico Campus continued to develop through the 1980s. Most significantly, in 1987, a new Hogan’s Alley was opened. The town with the most robbed bank in the world was an evolu tionary jump of such magnitude that it became an immediate pop culture sensation. When Army and police gun trainers started to use amusement park shooting gallery type scenarios to develop shoot/don’t shoot skills and named them after a turn of the century comic strip about New York slum kids, real-life scenario firearms training took its first small step. By the 1950s, the Bureau had incorporated a novel firearms range consisting of a street filled, on one side, with store fronts where mechanical pop-outs controlled by instructors tested trainees as they faced “threats” from the gangster era or simply a random store clerk. With the adoption of SWAT training in the 1970s and the creation of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team in 1984, such training was inadequate at best. Plans to create realistic facilities, populated by trained actors and instructors playing anything from a scared victim to a devious but hidden criminal played out in buildings and rooms set up like real life tactical situations was clear advance in training. The inclu sion of real-life FBI offices, store fronts, and even a small restaurant in the town of Hogan added to the realism. Demand continued to grow. Through the 1990s the inter national training aspects of the Academy increased rapidly and yellow bricks were now found in police offices across the post Cold-War world. As Director Freeh noted, the need for “cop-to-cop bridges” was critical to successfully addressing the global threats and the NA was building these bridges. Training demands after the 9/11 attacks only increased the demand placed on the now-aging facilities at Quantico. By 2009, FBI was leasing local hotel space to cover deterioration of existing facilities and over-capacity demands for student beds. The once state-of-the-art classrooms struggled to keep up with advances in computers and digitization in education. There were similar issues across all Bureau programs and facilities, but they were starkly clear and publicly manifested as we celebrated the Academy’s 40th anniversary in 2012. In 2012, Director Mueller petitioned for upgrades to the origi nal infrastructure, largely unchanged since 1972. They had been designed for a 500,000 square foot complex, but the FBI now man aged a 2 mil sq ft complex. Some of the firearms ranges date to the 1950s. The estimate for repair/upgrade projects could top $250 million and were desperately needed. A long-term repair, retrofit, and construction project began as problems from leaky founda tions and windows to upgraded HVAC and electronic systems was instituted. Staples like the dorms, the cafeteria, and the board room were renovated and new state-of-the-art firearms ranges were installed. Today as these projects are finalized, most having been completed at this point, we may consider how our Academy has changed and hasn’t changed. Sen. Roman Hruska was the keynote speaker at the June 7, 1972, graduation of the 89th National Academy Class, the last session to pass through the old Academy structure. He reminded the class of a clear, but no less important point: The NA has “been a principal means by which there has developed close working relationship among all levels of law enforcement in this nation.” A similar epitaph echoes this and remains engraved on the FBI Headquarters courtyard wall: “The most effective weapon against crime is cooperation …
F B I N A A . O R G | Q 4 2 0 2 2
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