WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) today joined David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) in introducing bipartisan legislation to reauthorize Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) to ensure that our federal law enforcement officials and first responders are adequately trained for national security events, domestic threats and combating terrorism.
“The FLETC facility in Artesia, New Mexico, plays a critical role in training Border Patrol agents, Bureau of Indian Affairs police officers, Federal Air Marshals and other law enforcement officers. It's also important to the economy in Southeastern New Mexico, where it's a significant employer,” Udall said. “FLETC needs the resources to adapt to ever-changing security threats, and our bipartisan bill will give it the certainty it needs to continue its mission — keeping Americans safe.”
“New Mexico plays an important role in protecting our homeland, and the FLETC facility in Artesia is at the forefront of training our federal law enforcement officers,” Heinrich said. “This bipartisan bill will support our trainees and make essential investments in Artesia, which will help contribute to southeastern New Mexico’s economy. I will continue working to ensure this training center remains fully funded so that staff and trainees can work to meet their homeland security missions."
“We are fortunate FLETC is headquartered in Georgia," Perdue said. “Each year, FLETC’s facilities deliver a range of training to 96 federal partner organizations and thousands of state, local, and international law enforcement officers. As training needs evolve to combat the growing global security crisis we face today, so do FLETC’s unique capabilities, which is why it remains a top training center for many agencies.”
“The work being done at FLETC is critical to our national security,” Isakson said. “The training our law enforcement officers receive each year is first-rate and each skill set is adapted to the situations they will face in the field. The skills needed to protect our ports, airports, borders and communities are indispensable, and I am proud of what FLETC achieves year in and year out.”
“The proposed bill will serve FLETC well into the future and recognizes our role in training those who protect our homeland,” said FLETC Director Connie Patrick.
Established in the 1970s as a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, FLETC was intended to provide cost-effective basic and advanced training for federal law enforcement officers. With the formation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003, FLETC was formally transferred from the Treasury Department to DHS to serve as the law enforcement training hub for a variety of national and international law enforcement personnel and partner organizations. Since its establishment and the department transfer, FLETC has not been reauthorized by Congress.
The FLETC main campus is headquartered in Glynco, Ga., and has grown over the years to include facilities in Artesia, N.M., Charleston, S.C., Cheltenham, Md., and Gabarone, Botswana. Today, FLETC supports 96 agencies, trains more than 70,000 students annually, and employs more than 3,000 Georgians and almost 600 New Mexicans.
U.S. Representative Buddy Carter (R-Ga.-01) introduced the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers Reform and Improvement Act of 2015 in the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed overwhelmingly in December 2015. View the full text of the Senate legislation here.