BRUNSWICK, Ga. — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton and Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Director Connie Patrick officially opened the ICE Academy complex during a joint ribbon cutting ceremony held at the FLETC headquarters Wednesday.
The new facility is dedicated to training and preparing the agency's special agents and officers to enforce the nation's immigration and customs laws. The ICE Academy, co-located on the Glynco, Ga., site, gives agency recruits the specialized training needed to work as a part the principal investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
"With more than 20,000 employees in over 400 offices in the United States and around the world, ICE agents and officers play a crucial role in protecting the security of our homeland," said ICE Director Morton. "The ICE Academy at FLETC is a vital first step providing a strong educational foundation to prepare our agents and officers to take on all types of law enforcement challenges."
"Through collaboration with its partners, FLETC ensures that our students are provided with the best possible learning environment in the most cost-effective and efficient manner. This facility is another example of the success of consolidated federal law enforcement training," said FLETC Director Patrick.
The ICE Academy and FLETC collaborated on the $2.5 million renovation to create a state-of-the-art learning facility for students. The three-story facility contains four computer labs, nine classrooms, two electronics labs and two breakout rooms.
The goal of the ICE-funded project was to provide a central classroom location for all ICE Academy basic and specialized training programs. The FLETC will use excess classroom capacity for other training course available at the Glynco site.
The classroom complex will house ICE's two basic training programs: ICE Enforcement and Removal Basic Law Enforcement Training and ICE Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Training. Specialized ICE programs designated for the building include technical enforcement, Spanish language and instructor development courses.
The mission of the ICE Academy is to develop and deliver professional training programs in order to provide ICE employees with the knowledge, skills and abilities essential to ICE's national security and law enforcement mission. In Fiscal Year 2010, the ICE Academy trained nearly 4,000 ICE employees, enrolled in more than 30 distinct training programs. This training was provided and supported by nearly 200 professionals from every ICE discipline that make up the Academy staff.
The FLETC serves as an interagency law enforcement training organization for 90 federal agencies. In addition, the organization provides training to state, local, campus, tribal and international law enforcement agencies. During Fiscal Year 2010, more than 65,000 students trained at the FLETC centers. Since its inception in 1970, nearly 940,000 law enforcement officers and agents have been trained at the largest law enforcement training organization in the country.
Headquartered on a 1,600-acre campus at Glynco, the FLETC also operates facilities in Artesia, N.M., Charleston, S.C., and Cheltenham, Md. Additionally, the FLETC has oversight responsibility on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security for the International Law Enforcement Academy at Gaborone, Botswana, and assists in the management of the ILEA in Bangkok, Thailand, and supports training at each of these ILEAs, as well as the ILEA in Budapest, Hungary, and El Salvador, San Salvador.