EATON — Eaton Police Chief Steve Hurd graduated as a member of the FBI National Academy Class #281, on Thursday, March 17.
The FBI National Academy is a professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement managers. According to officials, the 10-week program provides coursework in intelligence theory, terrorism and terrorist mindsets, management science, law, behavioral science, law enforcement communication, and forensic science – and 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.
Leaders and managers of state, local, county, tribal, military, federal, and international law enforcement agencies attend the FBI National Academy. Participation is by invitation only, through a nomination process. Participants are drawn from every U.S. state and territory and from international partner nations, according to officials with the National Academy.
Sessions of more than 200 officers take courses at the FBI campus in Quantico, Virginia. Classes are offered in a diverse set of areas and officers participate in a wide range of leadership and specialized trainings. Officers share ideas, techniques, and experiences with each other and create lifelong partnerships that transcend state and national borders.
Tim Dunham, Assistant Director of the FBI Training Division at Quantico, in his welcome to those attending the ceremony, summed up the importance of connections made at the Academy: “Graduates, I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for your flexibility and understanding during your time here at the academy. I know it wasn’t always easy, and I’m grateful for all of your hard work,” he began.
“Side by side, for 10 weeks, you built friendships and strengthened partnerships. And you demonstrated your continuous commitment to getting better at what you do. For yourselves, your departments, and your communities back home,” he noted. “Of course, strengthening law enforcement partnerships through the National Academy dates back many decades. In 1935, during the height of the gangster era, the FBI worked with our partners around the country and opened the FBI Police Training School in Washington DC. In 1940, the FBI operated the first national academy session at the Quantico Marine Base in a small building that was loaned to the FBI. In 1962, President Kennedy authorized the training of overseas officers in the United States. And as a result, typically over 10 percent of our national academy students are from our international partner agencies.”
He continued, “And these relationships and experiences don’t just make for good war stories when you return from Quantico. We guarantee they’ll also come in handy in your police work. Several years ago, two girls went missing in Canton, Massachusetts. Police received information that the girls were headed towards New York City Campus Police Chief was a national Academy graduate. He contacted one of his former NA classmates and NYPD Lieutenant detective and asked for help tracking the girls down.
“Within eight hours the girls were found and back where they belonged,” Dunham said. “That police chief said, ‘Those girls were not found on the streets of New York City. They were found in the halls of the National Academy.’”
“In another case, a police lieutenant in Florida was tracking a con man who fled the country after stealing millions of dollars from investors,” Dunham said. “The investigation pointed to Thailand but police were having trouble finding the subject. A lieutenant remembered he had a National Academy classmate with the Royal Thai Police. He sent him an email with the description of the con man and within 24 hours he received the following reply back: ‘We’ve located him — let us know what you’d like to do.’ The subject was extradited back to the United States for prosecution.
“These kinds of relationships are what the National Academy is all about. It means you now have another 258 law enforcement officers throughout the country and across the globe,” Dunham told the graduates.
Hurd shared information regarding the experience during a Monday, March 21, city council meeting.
“I applied to the National Academy about five years ago,” Hurd told council. “It’s usually around three to five years to get in, and with COVID and not having classes for a couple of years, it took me five.”
“Some of the courses I took were critical incident leadership, forensic science for police administration, fitness for law enforcement, effective writing, leadership and investigative strategies and essential civil law enforcement leadership,” he explained.
Chief Hurd also applied and was selected to be a part of the Academy’s mentorship program. He mentored an officer from Tunisia.
“This overall has been an outstanding educational and networking experience, which I’m most grateful to have been given the opportunity to do. Thank you to Lieutenant (David) Sizemore, administrators and staff for doing a great job for the police department in my absence,” Hurd added.