INLETS Offers FBI Counterterrorism Training for Police
By Leischen Stelter, editor of In Public Safety
Around the country, local law enforcement agencies are being given a greater role in the fight against terrorism. For example, the NYPD has tactically trained and equipped 400 officers to protect and prevent a terrorist threat. “American policing now has to spend a lot of time on a new form of crime: terrorism,” said William Bratton, police commissioner of New York City.
While large agencies often have the resources to train and equip officers on counterterrorism training tactics and scenarios, police officers in smaller agencies do not often receive equivalent instruction. The FBI has stepped up to fill the gap.
“We realized that we needed to provide training blocks on fundamental terrorism and violent crime investigations and provide tools to enhance the capability of state and local analysts,” said Special Agent Steven Shepherd, who is assigned to the Baltimore Field Office and has been with the FBI for 17 years.
In 2011, Shepherd helped his agency spearhead the creation of the Mid-Atlantics INLETS (INtelligence and Law Enforcement Training Seminar), an annual conference aimed at delivering counterterrorism training for all levels of law enforcement on violent crimes and terrorism trends.
To create INLETS, Shepherd brought together a group of people from FBI offices in D.C. and Baltimore as well as the Maryland Coordination & Analysis Center (MCAC), which is Maryland’s state fusion center. In addition, the partnership included InfraGard, an association between the FBI and private sector individuals representing businesses, critical infrastructure, academic institutions, and others, which is dedicated to sharing information and intelligence.
The 6th annual Mid-Atlantic INLETS will be held in Annapolis, Maryland on June 20-24.
Counterterrorism Training & Presentations By Outstanding Police Leaders
INLETS has gained a reputation for featuring high-quality presenters, many of whom have responded directly to terrorism incidents and can offer lessons learned. Previous seminars featured the police commander in Oslo, Norway who responded to the two sequential lone-wolf attacks in 2011 that killed 77 people and wounded 200 more. Other counterterrorism training presentations included a multiple-agency perspective on the 2013 Christopher Dorner attack in California, the 2005 coordinated attack on London’s public transportation system, the Virginia Tech attack, and many more.
“We’re really humbled that these presenters are coming to share lessons,” said Shepherd. “This isn’t just a case study presentation—they discuss some of the missteps in detection and response in order to help other agencies prevent something like this from happening again.”
Watch this video to learn more about past presentations:
While this year’s agendas have not been finalized yet, expected presentations will come from:
- FBI and NYPD case investigators from the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing
- CIA agents sharing the current situation with ISIL and homegrown violent extremism
- NYPD’s Detective Training Bureau will lead a workshop on homicide investigation
- FBI case agents will present the Ferguson, Missouri forensic evidence case study
- Maryland State Police will show how the media and activist groups impact police employees, departments, and investigations through online vulnerabilities and social media accounts during crisis and high profile events
- First responders and investigators involved in crisis events at University of California, Santa Barbara; Bailey, Colorado at Platte Canyon High School; and the West Nickel Mines Amish School House in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Attendance at this conference is open to all levels of law enforcement, DOD personnel, military, intelligence agencies, and InfraGard members. The counterterrorism training is certified for in-service credits for sworn law enforcement officers. In addition, American Military University has partnered with INLETS to ensure that continuing education units (CEUs) are approved for non-sworn officers.
Nominate an Officer to Attend INLETS for Free
While INLETS focuses on delivering this week-long seminar at the most affordable rate possible, it recognizes that cost can prohibit officers from attending. For the second year in a row, it is offering the Above & Beyond Scholarship, which recognizes deserving investigators and analysts by awarding them with free admission and overnight accommodations to attend the week-long seminar.
If you know an outstanding sworn or unsworn officer who would benefit from attending this training, please nominate him or her. The nomination deadline is April 3.
This year, INLETS is also inviting people to give back and help support this scholarship program. Those who wish to support this program can contribute to the scholarship fund.