BY CORY MCGOOKIN
As I write this, session 276 is preparing for graduation and preparing to head home and take the lessons learned to their departments. Here at the academy, we spend a lot of time thinking about the students in session but we also spend a lot of time thinking and talking about what will happen with them in the years after they depart Quantico. We strive to be forward thinking and build curriculum that is “ahead of the threat.” We recognize that our perspective is limited and we rely on those of you living the job to inform us and inform those decisions. So this is a call to action for anyone reading this.
We want your opinions on how we should shape the National Academy going forward so we set up a general email for you to use – NationalAcademy@fbi.gov.
The month long break between the spring and summer sessions is the perfect time for us to review, brainstorm, and modify any changes necessary for the program. I will frame this out a little to help you help us. Here is how we are thinking during this period:
We are currently preparing for students coming through the NA in the year 2020. Imagine that many of them will become the chief executive officer of a department in the year 2030. Our goal is to provide information and knowledge that will prepare them for that role. What will policing look like in 2030 and what knowledge will be important for them to know? That is a tough question! We won’t get it exactly right but we should do our best to prepare them to succeed with all the resources we can muster.
This edition of the magazine is focusing on active shooter response and mass casualty. Will that still be a major topic in 2030? Will there be new technologies that make those situations better or worse? Will cyber-crimes become more prevalent and move more into the jurisdiction of policing? Will Chiefs and Sheriffs be expected to be cyber savvy executives who understand how to protect their officers and their equipment? Will big data and social media scanning of information be the new battleground for detectives solving crimes? Will drones and automated vehicles disrupt the environment? How will we police our communities if the decline of recruitment and retention continues or gets worse? Should we offer more counter-terrorism classes? Should we offer fewer communications classes? Are there classes not offered that will be crucial to that Chief in 2030?
I could list questions for pages and pages but you get the point. I encourage you to use this article to spend some time pondering these questions with each other. Let’s start a conversation within the profession. Once you arrive at some well-informed data points, I’d appreciate it if you would send them to us and contribute to the National Academy classes of the future. I look forward to checking that email box (NationalAcademy@fbi.gov) and hearing from the best of the best.
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