The FBI Academy—dedicated to being the world’s premier law enforcement learning and research center and an advocate for law enforcement’s best practices worldwide—is operated by the FBI's Training Division.
Situated on 547 acres within the immense Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia, the FBI Academy is just one of many facets of the Training Division, whose work reaches far beyond the confines of the campus grounds.
While new FBI agents are typically synonymous with the FBI Academy, the Training Division instructs many diverse groups of people, including:
- FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, and professional staff
- Law enforcement officers
- Foreign partners
- Private sector professionals
The FBI National Academy is a professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement managers nominated by their agency heads because of demonstrated leadership qualities.
Reflections from National Academy Graduates
Chief Ken Berkowitz of the Canton, Massachusetts, Police Department:
Chief Berkowitz recounted receiving a report of two young women who had run away from a secure facility in Canton. Knowing they were vulnerable and after receiving information that they were heading to New York City, Berkowitz contacted a New York Police Department’s (NYPD) lieutenant detective he had met at the National Academy and asked for NYPD assistance. Within eight hours, the women were safely returned to the facility. “Those girls were not found on the streets of New York City," said Berkowitz. "Those girls were found in the hallways of the National Academy.”
Lieutenant Larry Horak of the Margate, Florida, Police Department:
Lieutenant Horak worked a case involving con man Roger Miller, who fled the country after stealing millions from investors. “Our investigation established that Miller had fled to Thailand, but we were having trouble trying to locate him there,” Horak said. “I thought I had a member of my NA class from the Royal Thai Police, so I sent him an email with a description of Miller, and within 24 hours, I got a response saying ‘We’ve located him—let us know what you’d like us to do.’" Horak initiated the extradition process to bring Miller back for prosecution. “For me,” said Horak, “the NA was unprecedented in any leadership training I’ve received during my career.”
Police Chief Bill Lane of the Horseshoe Bay, Texas, Police Department:
Chief Lane recounted how the instruction he received while attending the Academy was invaluable during a murder investigation. At the time Chief Lane attended the National Academy, he was assistant chief of the Hobbs, New Mexico, Police Department. In November 2005, the Hobbs Police Department was investigating the murder of a multimillionaire who was found dead at his lakefront mansion. During the search of the residence, evidence was discovered that indicated the victim had an internal defibrillator. Lane had learned in a National Academy class that information from these defibrillators can sometimes be downloaded, helping to determine the time of death. The information provided a valuable starting point in the investigation, which was ultimately resolved with the assistance of other law enforcement agencies.
Police Chief Gerald R. Simpson of the Garden Township, Pennsylvania, Police Department:
Chief Simpson recalled that the opportunity to liaison with his National Academy classmates proved to be a valuable crime-fighting tool later on. At the time he was at the National Academy, Simpson was a lieutenant with the Newark, Delaware, Police Department. Six months after graduating, a bank robbery occurred, and the suspect, during his escape, struck another vehicle, causing his own license plate to fall off the car. Police recovered the plate and discovered that vehicle was a rental from Newburgh, New York. While at the crime scene, Simpson contacted a National Academy classmate, who obtained the rental contact—information that led to the identification of the suspect. Within seven days, law enforcement authorities in New York had located and arrested him.
The web-based Virtual Academy for Law Enforcement grants you access to courses that offer knowledge, skills, and competencies (through relevant and consistent training and materials) needed to support the worldwide criminal justice community. Thousands of training topics are available at no cost.
To access these courses, register at Virtual Academy.
The Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS) was created in 1981 for chief executive officers of the nation’s mid-sized law enforcement agencies (those having between 50 and 499 sworn officers and serving a population of 50,000 or more).
During LEEDS, participants:
- Reflect upon and regroup for the next stage of their careers
- Receive instruction and facilitation in topics like leadership, strategic planning, legal issues, labor relations, media relations, social issues, and police programs
- Exchange plans, problems, and solutions with their peers
- Develop new thoughts and ideas
- Share successes from their own communities
Additionally, most LEEDS graduates become members of the non-profit FBI-Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (FBI-LEEDA) and continue attending annual training conferences to further their education.
Law enforcement executives interested in applying for LEEDS must contact their local FBI field office and ask for the training coordinator.
For the FBI’s foreign law enforcement partners with limited English fluency, see International LEEDS.
Described as the “Director’s own program” and the crown jewel of the FBI’s executive training initiatives, the National Executive Institute (NEI) was established in 1975 as a law enforcement executive training program. The program now trains domestic and international law enforcement leaders.
- National and international political, economic, and social trends affecting the policing function
- Ethics and integrity
- Effects of affirmative action on hiring and promotional policies
- Media relations
- Labor relations
- The future structure of police organizations
- Financing of police operations
- Training and legal issues
- Impact of criminal activity on policing
- Domestically, participants usually include the chief executive officers of full-service law enforcement agencies that are the primary providers of law enforcement services to a population of 250,000 or greater and have a complement of at least 500 sworn law enforcement officers.
- U.S. participants from non-MCC (Major Cities Chiefs) agencies are considered as space permits.
- Nominees from legal attachés are chosen law enforcement executives who meet the NEI selection criteria and who will contribute to NEI concerning their country’s contemporary law enforcement challenges.
- FBI field division heads are nominated and approved by FBI Headquarters to increase and enhance liaison with their local law enforcement partners.
- Our federal partner nominees are recommended directly by the respective federal agency.
The Law Enforcement Instructor School (LEIS) is an intense, 40-hour practical, skill-oriented course designed to provide fundamentals in adult instruction and curriculum design.
State and local law enforcement attendees:
- Learn and practice a variety of teaching strategies to deliver effective instruction
- Incorporate different instructional methodologies for effective delivery to a variety of audiences in different learning environments
- Engage in public speaking exercises to hone their presentation skills
The LEIS has been aligned to meet Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission instructor certification requirements in many states throughout the U.S.
Those interested in participating in LEIS must contact their local FBI field office and ask for the training coordinator.
The Leadership Fellows Program offers senior police managers and executives from around the world the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills through:
- Networking with staff and students
- Addressing leadership issues in their sponsoring agencies
- Attending a variety of courses
- Developing a blueprint for personal growth
This is a year-long program.
- The first six months of the program is in full residency. Fellows work closely with Center for Police Leadership and Ethics (CPLE) instructors to develop and instruct leadership curricula, address challenges or prospective issues in their host agencies having a beneficial impact upon their return, and attend leadership development courses in accordance with their individual development plans.
- The second six months sees fellows continuing to support the CPLE instructional mission domestically and internationally while serving as adjunct instructors and providing instruction in accordance with CPLE needs.
In an age where crime and terrorism know no borders, our international training initiatives are more important than ever to the FBI’s work to protect the American people both here and abroad.
Our initiatives strengthen legal and police systems overseas, which means fewer attacks on the U.S. from abroad. And they build one-on-one relationships that are instrumental in helping the FBI and its international colleagues track down fugitives, share information, and turn back serious criminal and security threats in this global age.
To carry out its mission, the Training Division also continues to work with other FBI operational and substantive divisions, including the International Operations Division; FBI legal attaché offices overseas; the Department of Justice; the State Department; and U.S. embassies overseas.
International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEAs) teach cutting-edge leadership and investigative techniques to international police managers through an intensive program similar to the FBI National Academy and also provide specialized classes on everything from corruption to cyber crime.
The FBI heads the facility in Budapest, Hungary and supplies instructors to the academies in Bangkok, Thailand; Gaborone, Botswana; and San Salvador, El Salvador. Although the course material is presented in English, students who speak different languages wear headsets and receive simultaneous translations.
Learn more about the ILEA program:
The International Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (International LEEDS) includes courses established for the FBI’s foreign law enforcement partners with limited English fluency. International LEEDS seeks to develop or enhance participants’ leadership, administrative, and investigative management skills.
The courses, taught at the FBI Academy, are held in the language of the attending law enforcement agency. Included among those sessions are Latin American LEEDS, Arabic Language LEEDS, Mexico LEEDS, and Brazil LEEDS.
- The Bilateral Training Program directly supports the FBI's legal attaché offices’ request for training of their foreign law enforcement partners in their areas of responsibilities at overseas and U.S. venues.
- The Middle Eastern Law Enforcement Training Center provides training to Dubai National Police and other officers in the region through a partnership between the government of Dubai and the FBI.
- The Plan Colombia/Anti-Kidnapping Initiative provides training assistance to Colombian law enforcement in their battle against illegal drug production and organized criminal groups and terrorism.
- The Pacific Training Initiative focuses on transnational crimes like terrorism and corruption for senior-level personnel from various agencies in the Pacific Rim and Asia.
- The International Counterproliferation Program offers counterproliferation training to our global partners in concert with the U.S. Department of Defense.
Recent active shooter incidents have underscored the need for a coordinated response by law enforcement and others to save lives.
The FBI is committed to working with its partners to protect schools, workplaces, houses of worship, transportation centers, other public gathering sites, and communities, and we offer a variety of training and other resources to our law enforcement partners.
For additional active shooter resources and information, visit fbi.gov/activeshooter.
In response to the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings, the FBI—with the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance—teamed up with the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) program, which was developed in Texas, supported by the state of Texas, and housed at Texas State University.
ALERRT has trained more than 114,000 law enforcement first responders in a response protocol adopted by the FBI as the national standard for special agent tactical instructors. Many state and local police departments have also adopted it as a standard for active shooter response, ensuring law enforcement officers arriving on the scene understand how others are trained to respond.
Approximately 225 FBI tactical instructors from around the country were trained in the ALERRT protocols after attending its 40-hour train-the-trainer course and are using what they learned to assist with the increased demand for the training by state, local, tribal, and campus law enforcement agencies.
Those interested in the ALERRT program must contact their local FBI field office and ask for the training coordinator.
This FBI-produced documentary focuses on best practices after school shooting tragedies, including family reunification, dealing with accompanying trauma, and crisis planning. It highlights the difficult journey of recovery while also giving hope to survivors. Transcript | Download
FBI field offices are bringing law enforcement command staff together to discuss best practices and lessons learned from prior mass shooting incidents. These two-day conferences include discussions and instructions related to specific aspects of active shooter incidents, including pre-event indicators (i.e., behavioral analysis), complex crime scene management and evidence collection, crisis management, victim assistance, media matters, and improvised explosive devices.
To date, more than 64,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, and law enforcement executives from state, local, tribal, and campus law enforcement have participated in these conferences, which will be held on an ongoing basis to ensure that the law enforcement community is prepared for future threats.
FBI field offices also host tabletop exercises—focusing on how to respond and recover from an active shooter incident. These exercises bring together our partner federal agencies, state and local law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, federal prosecutors, and district, county, and states’ attorneys.
The Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP) is a secure platform for law enforcement agencies, intelligence groups, and criminal justice entities.
LEEP provides web-based investigative tools and analytical resources, and the networking it supports is unrivaled by other platforms available to the law enforcement community. Users collaborate in a secure environment, use tools to strengthen their cases, and share departmental documents.
LEEP accounts are available to personnel affiliated with the criminal justice system, intelligence community, and the armed forces. You can apply for a LEEP account at cjis.gov.
The LEB solicits articles written by nationally recognized authors and experts in the criminal justice field and delivers relevant, contemporary information on a broad range of law enforcement-related topics. It serves as a valuable training tool at all levels.