BY SCOTT DUMAS
It seems like just yesterday I was raising my right hand in Boston and being sworn in as the Section IV representative. It is hard to believe I have entered my eighth year serving on the Board of the FBI National Academy Associates. I have watched and learned from those that have come before me, those I currently serve with, and those that are seeking to serve; and each hold an impassioned commitment to nurture the FBI National Academy experience through the FBI National Academy Associates. As my first official act as President, it is my distinct and humbling honor to be able to address our membership as a whole and to reflect on where we have come, where we are, and where we continue to strive towards as an Association.
I’m going to ask for your forgiveness while I briefly dip my toe into the political waters, but Washington DC, more specifically its political inhabitants, is broken. It certainly appears, and for some time now, our nationally elected officials care more about the next news cycle or the next election than they do about moving the country in a more positive direction. Now I don’t care if you have a D or R next to your name, vote Green Party or Libertarian, because that statement is true for all sides of the aisle. Now that concludes my foray into the political arena, but I stated that to state this. Contrary to what you may have read in the newspaper or seen on television, the FBI is not broken. The FBI National Academy Associates is not broken. Law Enforcement is not broken. What the members of the FBI do, what the members of the National Academy Associates do, and what the members of law enforcement do is we lead. And we do it willingly and we do it without fear.
In 1935 J. Edgar Hoover had a vision. His vision was in response to the Wickersham’s Commission’s investigation into police corruption. That Commission found that police corruption was fairly widespread in 1933, the final year of Prohibition. Some sort of standardization in police training was required. There was talk of a nationalized police force, however many did not have the stomach for that nor did they want to wrest that much control onto the National Government. The first class of the FBI National Academy consisted of 23 men and 0 women from some of the larger police departments throughout the country. Hoover’s vision was expanded when President John F. Kennedy introduced international students to the FBI National Academy. The 269th session of the FBI National Academy is currently on campus in Quantico, due to graduate on September 15, 2017. It was during the graduation ceremony of the 268th session on June 7, 2017 that the 50,000th graduate crossed the stage, fittingly a woman, Captain Amy Schreiner of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Police Department.
As we continue to write our history we look back to the just completed National Conference in Washington DC. Our first training sessions began on Sunday July 30th with a full gamut of topics running through Wednesday, August 2nd. Topics included Social Media, Counterterrorism, Strengthening Partnerships with our Youth, The Dark Net, Marketing your Agency, Officer Safety and Wellness, as well as case studies and discussions with some of the heralded leaders in our profession. Each topic was designed to engage our Mission of,” Impacting communities by providing law enforcement leadership through training and networking” while helping us to realize our vision of “Continuous development of the world’s strongest law enforcement leadership network.” The yellow brick received at graduation is symbolic of that leadership network. Thanks to the vision of former leaders of the FBI and of our nation, there are very few areas on this great earth that our network doesn’t reach. Our network is impactful and our Vision circles back to feed our Mission each and every day.
We are a dues driven Association. 17,000 active members in 2017 are within reach. At some point, each one of you raised your hand and said pick me. I want to go to the FBI National Academy. I want to absorb all that it has to offer. I want to bring that knowledge back to my agency, my community and disperse that knowledge. Active membership from our graduates is essential for us to accomplish our mission and provide the training and resources required in our ever changing profession. I ask that each of you reach out to a classmate, or chapter associate that has fallen off the grid and bring them back into the fold. Although our network is strong and far reaching, it becomes even stronger when we remain involved in what drew us to the National Academy in the first place.
I’m very excited about the future of the National Academy Associates. We have a great board, an outstanding staff, all independent thinkers with one particular commonality, and that is to serve this Association. Executive Director, Steve Tidwell, retired at the conclusion of the DC conference. During both of his tenures at our helm, Steve continuously moved us in a forward direction. He maintained partners and established new ones. He has left many friends and a debt of gratitude in his wake. Thank-you Steve! I very much look forward to working with our new Executive Director, Mark Morgan. Despite his familiarity with the National Academy during his time as Assistant Director of the Training Division, for the past 4-5 months Mark has volunteered his time to gain an even deeper knowledge of our Association, so the transition will be as seamless as possible. Mark has a lot of energy and is eager to get started. I’m very grateful for the Past Presidents that have come before me and prepared me to take this role. Barry Thomas will be stepping off the board. Barry has been a workhorse for our Association, particularly with Officer Safety and Wellness. His leadership will be missed, but his impact will be lasting. I’m particularly grateful for President Joey Reynolds. I followed Joey on the board. We don’t look alike, we don’t sound alike, and we certainly do not always agree. But I have watched Joey over these past 8 years serve this Association with honor. He has promoted our Association and acted selflessly on its behalf. He has nurtured relationships, developed partnerships, and given direction during his time at the helm that has kept our Association in an upward mobility. It will take all of my effort to achieve the bar he has set.
I want to end by congratulating Conference Chair Mike Spochart as well as the DC, Virginia, and Maryland/Delaware Chapters for their success in this year’s conference. A special shout out is deserving of the 269th Session who sent up many volunteers to help with its success.
Thank you for affording me the opportunity and the great honor to serve as our Association’s President. I am looking forward to seeing you all at a coming event throughout the next year. And lastly, thank you all for choosing the profession you have chosen and for being leaders in your community.
Be safe, be strong, be vigilant, and be proud!
Scott A. Dumas
President FBI NAA
Rowley, Massachusetts Police Department
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