continued from "Graduation Address" page 9

A staff member who overheard this was so moved she imme- diately decided to continue with the ceremony despite the down- pour. While many of us may not have placed much importance in the simple act of standing in the rain, please do not think this was something just any group of people would have done without complaint. We, as a session, embodied in those few moments what it means to be brothers and sisters in blue. We bonded across all things that we are told should separate us; bonded across borders, genders, race, and any other inconsequential differences between us. We stood together as guardians, in support, and in love. My hope is that our communities see in us, as guardians, this same brave and unbreakable line, and that we strive to keep them safe, always. My hope is that our people see in us, as leaders, this same unfaltering support, and that we guide them in this manner, always. My hope is that our families see in us, as their loved ones, this unconditional love, and that we love them in kind, always. Someday, when I am asked about my experience here, I will share this simple story. The story of session 277 who gathered in silent reverence on a rainy Wednesday evening, as we performed the solemn act of standing for those who cannot stand for themselves.

I wondered for a long time that day, while we visited the museum, what it was inside each of those heroic men and women that pushed them to go forth to their deaths. It took me a long time to come to a rather simple conclusion: they were doing what I hope we all would do in a similar situation. They were living, serving, and dying for something much greater than themselves. For something greater than their agencies… greater than this country… They lived, served, and died for humanity. Is that not what we are all charged to do in this work? If we have lost our way, on any level, in any aspect of our lives, my hope is that we Never Again lose sight of our calling and our collective purpose in law enforcement. To each of you here to support a member of our class… I leave you with a story of what you should remember about Session 277, and please know we will Never Again be the same as before we came. In preparing this speech I was given a suggestion from one of my friends on what should be highlighted about our class. The idea was to talk about the diversity in our session. The countries we represent, the states, cities, men and women of all ages, all preferences, and all levels of experience. While I thought this through, what stood out to me, is our similarities and not neces- sarily those differences. Several weeks ago, our session went to the National Law Enforcement Memorial and stood, 257 strong, in the pouring rain to honor the officers who’s names are etched on the wall; many of whom we knew personally; many of whom we called friends. One of our classmates looked around, at the discomfort on our faces, at our hands in our pockets, at our trembling shoulders, and listened to a few comments from staff as to whether or not we would reschedule. He leaned over and quietly said to me, “My best friend’s name is on this wall, and he would give anything to stand here in the rain with us.”

Stay safe my friends. Thank you

About the Author: Major Angela Hawkins is in her 14th year of law enforcement and currently serves as the Bu- reau of Community Policing Commander in Brentwood, Missouri. She commands the training unit, detective bureau and road patrol. Previously, Angela worked in St. Louis, where she spent a majority of her career as an investigator, then supervisor of violent crimes. Academically, Angela has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Lindenwood University. She is cur- rently in the application process for the Doctor of Criminal Justice: Education program at St. Leo University in Florida.


Do you have an area of expertise that you would like to present to FBINAA members and other Law Enforcement leaders? Submit NOW for consideration. Based on the education and training needs of the membership, topics of interest include, but not limited to: • Officer, safety, and wellness • Physical training and its effect on mental health and well being • Suicide prevention • Race and diversity relations • Policing in a community after a major racial incidence  • Leadership and management issues • Life After Law Enforcement • Active shooter, mass casualty response • Challenges in policing a diverse community in the 21st Century • Building trust and legitimacy • Opioids and other legal/illegal drug issues • Technology and social media • Community policing and crime reduction • Innovations in policing and new technologies • Education and training trends FBI National Academy Graduates wishing to be considered to present at the Annual Training Conference must be a current FBINAA member in good standing with a Chapter at the time of submitting their application for consideration. Please review the following information before submitting your presentation: • FBINAA will accept up to three (3) proposals to present per primary presenter. • Education sessions will be approx. 90 min. in length, including time for participant question and answer. • We are looking for bold, exciting, innovative, engaging and interactive sessions.

Submission Deadline and Notification: The deadline to submit is Friday, November 22, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

All submissions will be evaluated by the FBINAA Training Committee, and all primary presenters will be notified of their acceptance status on or before Tuesday, December 31, 2019. Please email John Kennedy for submission guidelines at jkennedy@fbinaa.org

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