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FLETC to Move Some Training to N.M.

The Georgia-based Federal Law Enforcement Training Center will expand its basic training operations to a second campus to better accommodate the 75 security agencies that use its facilities, including the Capitol Police.

The center, which works with both federal agencies such as the Secret Service and Border Patrol and state, local and international law enforcement groups, will divide its basic training program between its Glynco, Ga., and Artesia, N.M., campuses, according to the Capitol Police. The Cheltenham, Md., facility will continue to be used for limited training and classroom instruction.

A FLETC spokeswoman did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Earlier this year, FLETC officials announced they were considering farming out some of the 12 programs run at the Glynco headquarters to its satellite campuses in Artesia and Cheltenham.

In recent years the main facility has seen a sharp increase in the number of officers and agents seeking training, in part because of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and has strained to keep up with demand.

Basic-training programs make up the bulk of the center’s workload, and to accommodate the influx FLETC officials had already moved to a six-day training week.

Although the Capitol Police could send trainees to the New Mexico campus in the future, all of the classes now scheduled by the department in 2004 will be held in Georgia.

“The classes that we’ve submitted … do not include Artesia,” said Capitol Police spokeswoman Jessica Gissubel.

Like all federal agencies, Capitol Police recruits complete basic law enforcement training at FLETC, a process that typically lasts between eight and 10 weeks. The department also conducts an additional 10 weeks of agency-specific training at the Cheltenham campus, which opened in 2002.

The Capitol Police now has more than 1,500 officers.

When FLETC officials began considering a program change earlier this year, Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer raised concerns about four instructors who had recently moved to Georgia to train officers at the Glynco facility.

The department is pleased with FLETC’s new plan, Gissubel said.

“It’s great as far as our instructors are concerned. It’s good to know they will remain at Glynco, and they won’t have to move their families and life,” she added.

It is not clear whether the department may eventually deploy training officers to New Mexico, and such a move would likely depend on when or if training is scheduled at the Artesia campus for the Capitol Police.

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