WASHINGTON, D.C. ― Today U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich welcomed passage of bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC), which includes a facility in Artesia, to ensure that our federal law enforcement officials and first responders are adequately trained for national security events, domestic threats, and combating terrorism.
The bill passed the Senate early Saturday morning and passed the House Tuesday and is now headed to the president to be signed into law.
Each year, FLETC’s facilities in Artesia and four other locations deliver a range of training to 96 federal partner organizations, including the U.S. Border Patrol and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Altogether, FLETC trains more than 70,000 federal, state, local, and international law enforcement officers at five locations, and it employs more than 575 New Mexicans.
“FLETC’s unique training opportunities make it an important part of our effort to meet security needs here in the United States and abroad, making it a top training center for many agencies. It is also an important employer in Southeastern New Mexico. But its mission hasn’t been reviewed and updated by Congress since 2003,” Udall said. “This legislation makes important improvements that recognize FLETC’s role in training federal law enforcement officers who are to the security of our nation and our communities, particularly on the border and in Indian Country. It will ensure that FLETC can continue its mission and provide high-quality, cost-effective law enforcement training.”
“Our dedicated FLETC staff in Artesia works hard to make sure that federal law enforcement agents from across the United States get the best quality training. The site includes a full range of facilities for training border patrol agents and commercial pilots who volunteer their time to become part of our nation’s first line of defense against terrorist acts. FLETC is also home to the Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Police Academy,” Heinrich said. “The reforms in this bill will ensure that FLETC is well-equipped to execute these critical missions and continue to be a leading employer in southeastern New Mexico. I will remain focused on keeping our state’s facility at the forefront of training federal law enforcement officers who are on the front lines of protecting our homeland.”
FLETC was established in the 1970s as a bureau of the Department of the Treasury and was intended to provide cost-effective basic and advanced training for federal law enforcement officers. When the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was formed in 2003, FLETC was formally transferred to DHS to serve as the law enforcement training hub for a variety of national and international law enforcement personnel and partner organizations.
FLETC is headquartered in Glynco, Ga. In addition to Artesia, it has facilities in Charleston, S.C.; Cheltenham, Md. and Gabarone, Botswana.
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers Reauthorization:
- Sets the director position as a career-reserved position within the Senior Executive Service and establishes the function of the director as follows:
- Develop training goals and establish tactical organizational plans.
- Provide direction and management for FLETC’s training facilities, programs, and support activities;
- Develop homeland security and law enforcement training curricula;
- Monitor progress of the tactical curricula as well as domestic preparedness and response to threats or acts of terrorism;
- Ensure timely dissemination of homeland security information to federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, and international law enforcement;
- Advise the secretary on matters relating to executive level policy and program administration;
- Authorizes the director to provide training to employees of federal agencies who are engaged in homeland security operations or operations related to domestic preparedness and response to threats or acts of terrorism;
- Authorizes training to be done at FLETC locations. Authorizes the director to charge and retain fees related to training;
- Establishes that the director can provide athletic and related activities, short-term medical services, and chaplain services;
- States that partner organizations are responsible for expenses related to their instructors that teach at FLETC as well as the expenses related to the students that the partner agencies or organizations send to FLETC;
- Authorizes the director to hire federal annuitants, as needed, who have expert knowledge in their field to train at FLETC;
- Establishes that individuals that train on FLETC shall, to the extent practicable, reside in on-FLETC or FLETC-provided housing;
- Provides the director with authorities to use funds that are appropriated to the mission of FLETC to use to further the goals and objectives of FLETC;
- Does NOT authorize any new spending authorizations for FLETC.