ORLANDO, FL – Today Rep. Val Demings (FL-10) introduced new legislation to require that all officer training programs for the Department of Homeland Security receive accreditation to ensure a high standard of excellence for officers tasked to protect America.
Said Rep. Demings, “protecting our safety and security is my top priority. As a former 27-year law enforcement officer and Chief of Police, I have seen that training saves lives. When it comes to keeping Americans safe, I believe we have no room for error. The officers at the Department of Homeland Security deserve the highest standards of training and preparation so that they can safely and effectively carry out their mission.”
The “DHS Basic Training Accreditation Improvement Act of 2021” would require regular reporting by the Secretary of Homeland Security to Congress on the accreditation status of each of the Department’s basic training programs. For those programs that are not accredited, the Secretary must provide the reasons for not obtaining or maintaining accreditation, the activities, if any, taken to achieve accreditation, and the anticipated timeline for accreditation of the program. In addition to improving the quality of basic training programs in the Department, the bill directs DHS to engage in research to help State, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers better access FLETC training opportunities.
Unfortunately, several DHS law enforcement basic training programs are not accredited; the most notable unaccredited programs are the U.S. Border Patrol Academy, Customs and Border Protection’s Field Operations Academy Officer Basic Training Program, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Officer Basic Training Program. In some cases, programs have been unaccredited for several years. For example, the Border Patrol Academy submitted an initial application in 2006 but did not pursue accreditation further.