Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers Reform and Improvement Act of 2015by Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham
Posted on 2015-12-08
of new mexico
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Ms. MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM of New Mexico. Mr. Speaker, I rise in
support of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers Reform and
Improvement Act (H.R. 3842). This bipartisan bill will codify and
reauthorize the duties and responsibilities of Federal Law Enforcement
Training Centers (FLETCs). FLETCs improve domestic preparedness,
prevention, and response to terrorism by providing basic and advanced
training to federal employees involved in federal law enforcement
activities or homeland security operations. I am proud that this
important national security work occurs in several locations across the
country, including in my home state of New Mexico.
However, I have concerns about one particular provision within H.R. 3842: The ability for FLETCs to offer state and local law enforcement agencies training, which is meant for federal security personnel. Although I strongly believe that federal security personnel need to coordinate and work closely with state and local law enforcement agencies to prepare, prevent, and respond to terrorism, I have grave concerns with the ability of community police departments to have complete and unrestricted access to military-style training at FLETCs.
For example, the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) has access to every Department of Energy National Training Center (NTC) class, which are intended for federal law enforcement personnel to protect our nation's nuclear materials. APD has completed dozens of DOE-instructed classes, including lessons on ``vehicle ambush,'' ``tactical leadership assault executions,'' and ``how to lead a small element in a combat situation.'' The U.S. Department of Justice is currently reviewing APD's use of NTC classes, resources, and facilities.
I encourage FLETCs to enact sensible oversight mechanisms and restrictions on state and local law enforcement access to FLETC resources and facilities. FLETCs should have criteria to determine what training topics or classes, if any, are appropriate for state and local law enforcement. FLETCs should also consider the duty assignments and responsibilities of individual officers when determining allowing access. In addition, police departments under a Department of Justice consent decree for violating the constitutional rights of Americans or departments with a history of excessive or unnecessary force, should not receive military-style training provided by FLETCs.
I will continue to work with the Administration on strengthening the mission of FLETCs and on ensuring that state and local law enforcement have appropriate access.