ICE OTTP Operations Glynco, Georgia: ICE Academy prepares the next generation of officers

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) is located outside of Brunswick, Georgia, on a 4,000-acre site of a former naval air station. FLETC, part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), serves as the primary training site for more than 90 federal agencies.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Training and Tactical Programs (OTTP) operates its ICE Academy at FLETC year-round. The ICE Academy adheres to the four core values ​​of Innovation, Commitment, Education and Achievement.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Instructor Nathan S. Brown acknowledges the importance of the Academy’s faculty: “Every agent I come into contact with has the potential to face a very real set of life-or-death decisions deliver. It is my job to prepare them as best as possible for this day.”

Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) instructor Harvey R. Deering agrees, “Working at the academy is important because I train new officers on policies, procedures and techniques that could save their lives. I have to make sure they can handle any rapidly evolving situation.”

All newly hired ICE agents and officers undergo training at the ICE Academy. ERO deportation officers complete a 20-week basic training course at FLETC. The course includes training and exams in immigration law, Spanish language, physical fitness, law enforcement tactics, firearms training, multicultural communication and avoiding racial profiling. HSI Special Agents complete six months of basic criminal investigator and special agent training at FLETC. Courses include extensive training in criminal and immigration law, surveillance and covert operations, firearms training, court process development and physical fitness.

ERO Instructor Lauren D. Posavetz said officer training is the foundation of ICE mission enforcement.

“Educating my ICE colleagues on immigration laws, policies and procedures is a way to increase understanding and enthusiasm for the ICE mission. The training we provide will help these officers ensure safety for themselves, other officers and the American people as they go about their daily duties,” she said.

Gary Beard, Director of OTTP ICE Academy, emphasizes the importance of ICE and FLETC working together to plan and address issues related to the upcoming hiring surge.

“ICE Academy has carefully prepared for an expected surge in numbers related to the executive order. These preparations include working with FLETC leadership to acquire the additional classrooms and tactical training locations needed to train ICE law enforcement personnel through the ERO Basic Immigration Enforcement (BIETP) and HSI Criminal Investigator (CITP) and Special Agent Training (HSISAT) are required. In addition, ICE Academy staff have worked with the FLETC training cadre to ensure the Executive Order’s training requirements can be met.”

According to HSI instructor and curriculum coordinator Todd R. Rignel, the newly integrated ICE OTTP is working well and ready for new challenges.

“I don’t think all ICE employees realize how much effort and diverse workforce it takes to develop and maintain world-class training programs,” he said. “The success of HSISAT and BIETP, including the recent Federal Law Enforcement Accreditation (FLETA) of both programs, is a direct result of the collaboration between curriculum educators, special agents, deportation officers, administrative staff and managers who are equally passionate about providing ICE, OTTP and training to put first. From deputy director down, we have the right people in place, which is critical for the potential hiring surges we are planning.”

The ICE men and women who enforce immigration law receive their training from the ICE Academy. The importance of the weeks they spend there cannot be underestimated.

“Knowing that I’m training the next generation of ICE officers who will continue to shape our agency for years to come gives me a great sense of accomplishment,” said ERO Instructor Adam Austin.