|WASHINGTON – Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Oversight and Management Accountability Subcommittee ranking member, today delivered the following opening statement at a hearing about federal law enforcement training centers.
I am pleased we are holding this hearing today to examine how the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, FLETC, provides training and resources for federal, state and local law enforcement. This is a very timely hearing as it is National Police Week. This week, we honor all the men and women in law enforcement and pay our respects to police officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
I am especially grateful, because I understand what its like to open a door and not know what’s on the other side. All of us who went overseas to serve were able to do so because our law enforcement officers stayed here and served us day-in-and-day-out keeping our families, our communities, and our country safe.
According to the FBI, 106 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2018. Line of duty deaths were frequently during the investigation of a crime or while making an arrest.
As we seek to reduce the number of deaths in the line of duty, we must recognize the important role training and research can play. Researchers look for trends relating to officer injuries and deaths while on duty. Data analysis of these trends can result in changes to agency policies, practices, and training objectives for law enforcement.
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) is one agency that is always looking for ways to improve officer training. It alsoconducts research to establish best practices.
Since its founding at Glynco, Georgia in 1975 FLETC has adapted to respond to the ever-changing threat environment and provide the best training possible.
In the wake of 9/11, FLETC was moved to the Department of Homeland Security and has continued to expand its training opportunities to serve more law enforcement agencies.
In 2018, FLETC trained 73,816 officers through over 800 training programs.
FLETC provides basic training for agents and officers across the federal government and provides training on specific issues such as on firearms, driving, investigations, and legal issues.
FLETC also offers specialized training courses on things such as Active Shooter Threat Training; Commercial Vehicle Counterterrorism Training; Internet Investigations Training; and Tactical Medical Training for First Responders. Recently, FLETC has developed a pilot program for training in human trafficking.
I want to briefly discuss the importance of the last two.
After the early experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military began prioritizing tactical medicine. Knowing how to pack a gunshot wound, how and where to apply a tourniquet, and how to open an airway have been vital to saving countless lives on the battlefield. These skills are indispensable for saving lives at home as well.
FLETC’s partnership with the Blue Campaign to combat human trafficking is something I care deeply about. We should do everything we can to eradicate this abhorrent form of modern slavery. My district, the Houston area, is all too familiar with this horrific practice. It has no place in this world and we must make sure we are doing everything we can to make human trafficking a thing of the past.
FLETC also offers train-the-trainer programs that act as a force multiplier to increase the reach of FLETC and train as many officers as possible.
FLETC’s State, Local and Tribal Division provides opportunities for low-cost and no-cost training at its campuses around the country. These programs support the development of specialized law enforcement knowledge and skills. Additionally, FLETC sponsors training at other locations around the nation, most of which are provided at no cost for sworn state, local and tribal law enforcement officers.
FLETC clearly has its work cut out for it by trying to provide training for the Federal government and being a resource for state, local and tribal law enforcement as well. The Executive Order issued by President Trump to increase CBP and ICE officers to address the crisis at the border will require a large number of additional officers to be trained by FLETC. I am hopeful FLETC can rise to the challenge and I am hopeful Congress will provide it the resources it needs to do so.
I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today on the training opportunities FLETC provides law enforcement, ways FLETC can improve its training opportunities, and the ways we in Congress can assist.