(Photo courtesy FBI; names not immediately available)
Eighty years ago, on July 29, 1935, the FBI opened its training facilities and expertise to law enforcement officers across the U.S., and the FBI's National Academy was born. The FBI's historian, Dr. John Fox tells us:
The idea of a national training academy was first raised in late 1934 as part of U.S. Attorney General Homer Cummings’ “war on crime.” FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover then fleshed out an idea for professional education for law enforcement officers at the annual meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) held in early July 1935. An IACP committee on police training had urged Director Hoover, who spoke at the conference on the value of professional police training, to consider offering such training under FBI auspices.
FBI Assistant Director Hugh Clegg, sometimes referred to as the founder of the National Academy, was tasked with a monumental job. A manuscript we found in his personnel file supports the above and gives us some insight into a remarkable achievement within just a one month period. Clegg's papers read, in part,
"Mr. Hoover returned to Washington, [called for Clegg], discussed the request briefly and asked for a quick call to several SACs for their opinion due to their close relationships with local agencies. They were requested to contact some local police executives for their views. [Clegg] was instructed to organize the police school, prepare a detailed curriculum, select an assign a faculty from the supervisor staff of the FBI, and select and recruit an outstanding group to serve as a visiting faculty from the ranks of universities, police agencies and other sources. All of this planning was to be accomplished including the selection and investigation of, and invitation to, students and Mr. Hoover's final approval of all phases --within that same month: July 1935."
An April, 1936 press release from the FBI is found here