Nancy Soberg / FBI Academy official photographer
Center employees gathered at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington
March 24 to commemorate the 200th National Academy graduation.
From left to right are: Steve Pryplesh, director of FBI Programs;
Judy Napier, program support technician senior; Lori Koslow,
program support technician; Louis Freeh, director of the FBI;
Sondra Stallard, dean of U.Va.'s School of Continuing and
Professional Studies; Betty Walker, program support technician;
and Scott DeLong, assistant director of FBI Programs.
U.Va., FBI partnership
continually updates law enforcement training
-- Law enforcement officers today must cope with a broad range
of crimes that cross state lines and even infiltrate the home
via the Internet. U.Va. is helping officers keep up.
academic training that distinguishes Federal
Bureau of Investigation agents has been passed on to local
law enforcement officers for more than a half-century through
the National Academy Program in Quantico.
The academy, which uses courses developed and accredited by U.Va.'s
School of Continuing and
Professional Studies, recently graduated its 200th class.
Its evolving curriculum enables local law enforcement agencies
to keep up with the changing scope of crime.
much sought-after training has developed into a finishing school
for future law enforcement leaders across the country and worldwide.
academy's first class in 1935, which marked the first major attempt
at uniform training standards for a diverse range of law enforcement
officers, offered its 23 students firearms training and taught
basic investigative techniques. The 268 students of the academy's
200th class hit the books in a number of college-level courses,
including forensic and behavioral sciences, law, communications
you were to look at the leadership of the nation's law enforcement
agencies, most will have the National Academy on their resumés,"
said U.Va. Police Chief Mike Sheffield, a 1983 academy graduate.
"The college credit earned at the academy is a great advantage,
and it inspires many graduates to continue their education and
earn a higher degree."
Academy training has become the most prestigious in law enforcement,
said Janet Warren, a professor at U.Va.'s Institute
of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy.
partnership with the academy has allowed updated research and
training on modern-day law enforcement issues that were not heard
of 20 or 30 years ago," said Warren, whose department was
alluded to in the movie, "Silence of the Lambs." "The
academy forms a huge hub of law enforcement and investigative
academy is currently involved in intense research in the area
of threat assessment, particularly school violence, Warren said.
The research and training could develop into enhanced courses,
allowing law enforcement officers to evaluate the seriousness
of threats made by young people.
is also researching a book for the academy on suicide by law enforcement
U.Va. became involved with the academy in 1972, the training focus
shifted from vocational to academic.
can see a steady progression of knowledge with every graduate
that comes into your department," said Charlie Deane, police
chief in Northern Virginia's Prince William County, himself a
1985 academy graduate. "We've had 25 attend the academy since
1970 and the professionalism really shows."
qualifications of law enforcement officers have changed greatly
since the academy's founding. Of those graduating last month,
more than half had a bachelor's degree and 97 percent had completed
at least some college work.
says he and others within his department who completed the 12-week
course have a better grasp of modern management skills inside
the office and a greater feel for the challenges faced today on
the streets. "The exchange of information that takes place
between the students, at the academy and when the graduates return,
is invaluable," he said.
academy's partnership with U.Va. is an evolving one, and continued
research helps improve the level of professionalism among law
program is highly selective, featuring officers who are moving
up in their organizations," said Steve Pryplesh, an assistant
dean in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and
director of U.Va.'s programs at the academy. "[Former FBI
Director] J. Edgar Hoover fostered the relationship between academics
and law enforcement. The academy is the mechanism to increase
the academic character of law enforcement officers throughout
The international flavor can be seen in the diversity of classes
going through the National Academy today. The 200th graduating
class included students from 49 states and 22 countries.