Chief Keith Licata, Borough of Mount Arlington Chief of Police, graduated from the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia on Friday, September 16, 2016
The 265th Session of the National Academy consisted of leaders in law enforcement from 47 states and 24 countries. The two hundred and thirty graduates represented law enforcement agencies ranging from cities to small towns, from colleges to military organizations. Collectively the group had over 4,600 years of law enforcement experience.
For 10 weeks Chief Licata underwent intensive professional development course work under the guidance of FBI leadership. At the Academy, he integrated with other law enforcement leaders, living in academy dorms, undergoing strenuous physical training and classroom instruction by seasoned special agents and subject matter experts through the University of Virginia.
The NA has been around since 1935. Prompted by twenty-first century challenges, FBI leadership has adjusted the NA’s curriculum to address a host of issues ranging from threats posed by homegrown extremists to tensions between police departments and the communities they serve. One of the bedrock principles of the NA since its inception has been to build strong relationships amongst local, state, federal, and international agencies in order to enhance the flow of critical information and intelligence. And in the current terrorism threat environment and age of Internet radicalization, those bonds are more important than ever before.
All candidates of the academy must be recommended by a leader in law enforcement and then invited by administrators with the academy. There is a waiting list and candidates can sometimes wait years to receive their appointment. Fewer than one percent of American law enforcement is chosen to attend the NA. Graduating the NA is one of the highest achievements for law enforcement worldwide.
FBI Director James Comey was the principal speaker at the ceremony. He spoke of the challenges facing law enforcement and the threats ahead. He praised the graduates for their commitment to the law enforcement profession and willingness to take on the challenges ahead.
A total of 49,464 law enforcement leaders has graduated the NA since its inception. It is the largest law enforcement network in the world.