Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre reported that the 255th Session of the FBI’s National Academy has been canceled due to the federal government shutdown. Sheriff Webre and the other participants were dismissed from the Academy last week after learning the session had been canceled due to some instructors and academy staff being furloughed.
“I’m disappointed, but at least it occurred right in the beginning and not halfway through completion” said Sheriff Webre. “My intent in attending the Academy was to be able to bring back knowledge, insight, and ideas our agency could utilize in order to improve our level of service to the public. This is just another example of the far-reaching effects of this government shutdown.”
The 10-week session, which was to have been conducted at the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia, was supposed to have begun Monday, September 30 and continue through mid-December. Webre says he and the other cadets have received another invite to attend as the 255th session in April 2014. Less than one percent of all law enforcement personnel in the world receive invitations to study at the prestigious academy.
Upon learning of the furloughed instructors, Sheriff Webre contacted Congressman Bill Cassidy about introducing a bill that would have funded FBI emergency and critical training during the government shutdown. Representative Cassidy did submit the bill to Congress, but the National Academy was canceled prior to any decision on the bill. “This was, to our knowledge, the one and only cancellation of a National Academy in its 78 year history,” added Sheriff Webre. The disappointment did create an opportunity for the class to come together and solidify as a group much sooner than most.
“It’s definitely an abrupt change of mindset,” said Sheriff Webre. “My staff and I made preparations for those 10 weeks, and now we will shift back to normal operations. On the positive side, I was able to network with classmates during the time I was in Quantico, and therefore, I have many new contacts on whom I can call anytime for assistance and sharing knowledge.”