FBI Training Review Essay Example

The FBI represents the major home-base counter-terrorism agency with a long history, which is concentrated on legal activities that are protected by the First Amendment. The main purpose of the FBI is not based upon the criminal activity in home-base security investigations. Training and education are an integral part of career development of each FBI agent and policeman. Currently, the training method ideologies associated with how the FBI trains agents differs from and is in some cases similar to the quasi-militarism characteristic methodology, usually used in the typical police academy.

How the FBI Trains Agents

According to the guidance of the FBI training from March, 2012, the FBI training should be based upon such three main principles as adherence to the basic values of the FBI and conformation to constitutional principles; appropriate support with course materials, organization of training aimed at a targeted audience, and determination to provide message clarity; expertise education of trainers in the subject material (“The FBI’s guiding principles: Touchstone document on training,” 2012). On the contrary, there are no certain standard guidelines or curriculum aimed at the direction and support of community policing by police organizations. However, due to the public disturb and hostility, police officers as well as te FBI agents should have various kinds of training and education (Yardley, 2013).

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  • According to the first principle, the FBI training has to emphasize protection of civil liberties and rights. Unlike the FBI, police agencies have their own standards, which are aimed at promotion of trust and cooperation among the public. Thus, the main idea of the police training method is the development of public communication (Yardley, 2013). Training of the FBI agents has to give accurate differentiation between representation and actions protected constitutionally and directed on achievement of social, political or other goals and forcible extremism that can be determined as the use, application of threat or use of violence or force. This distinction is based on the acknowledgment of the appropriate principle that is a simple association with the organizations, which shows that lawful (promotion) and illegal (violent extremism) purposes should not automatically lead to the definition that a corresponding individual promotes the implementation of the illegal purpose of the organization (“The FBI’s guiding principles: Touchstone document on training,” 2012).

The training of the FBI agents has to underline that any intelligence or investigative activity cannot be based only on the race, ethnic origin, nationality, or religious accessory. In particular, training has to concentrate on behavioral directories, which have a potential for the criminal or terrorist activity. However, the protest activity, religious expression, and maintenance of ideological or political convictions, which are protected by the constitution, should not be considered equal to terrorism or crime (“The FBI’s guiding principles: Touchstone document on training,” 2012). However, the law enforcement officers’ training should be based upon interactive, experiential, and participatory activities. For example, the law enforcement training is based on problem-solving activities and stimulation exercises, which can develop and improve language and communication skills of the policemen (Yardley, 2013).

  • The second principle claims that the FBI training has to serve the target audience in terms of the performance of duties within the zone of responsibility. In order for the training to be effective, it has to correspond to a relevant purpose, give knowledge, and create convenience for the further training. The training program has to be performed in a uniform format with corresponding training materials according to the advanced practice embodied in these leading principles (“The FBI’s guiding principles: Touchstone document on training,” 2012). Unlike the FBI, law enforcement academies apply the ongoing communication training as the major element of the curriculum (Yardley, 2013).
  • The third principle underlines that the real and future trainers have to be estimated regarding to their aptitude to follow the standards stated in the abovementioned document, their special knowledge of business, professionalism, and training methods. All printed materials have to be carefully analyzed by the specialized personnel having a proper level of corresponding subjects understanding. Authors and supervising personnel should turn to the assistance and consultancy of the FBI Academy personnel training in Quantico, the State of Virginia, which can be an effective source of the assistance and information, as well as monitoring during the development or revision of the program of training, especially concerning the correspondence of vocational training to certain purposes (“The FBI’s guiding principles: Touchstone document on training,” 2012).

Estimates of the supervision have to include the review of education levels of future trainers and their experience in a training subject. The corresponding training materials have to be requested from other FBI agencies or audience that was trained. The cultural background of the trainer and his or her experience in the law enforcement cannot replace the main knowledge and experience of training (“The FBI’s guiding principles: Touchstone document on training,” 2012).

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Taking into account that fact that one of the main training ideas is communication with citizens, police trainers attend various courses, where they study the diversity in their communities and estimate certain case studies based upon reflections on the hate crimes. During these courses, police trainers improve their knowledge on how to communicate with the community and then provide this knowledge to the attendants on the position of a police officer at their local police academies. Moreover, unlike the FBI, police training departments use to practice staff exchange programs in order to improve the training capacity of their trainers (“ODIHR trains police trainers on preventing and responding to hate crimes,” 2013).

The staff of the FBI has an access to various internal and external training and educational opportunities. All new employees take a basic course of orientation and receive a theoretical and practical training in the course of work. All special agents visit the new agent’s training class of the FBI in the FBI Academy in Quantico, the State of Virginia. All language analysts, intelligence analysts, surveillance specialists, and investigative specialists visit the Intelligence Career Service (ICS) of the FBI, which is the FBI training program. The FBI also has its own institute on training of the managerial personnel for future leaders in order to develop and improve their skills of the management and leadership. Besides, the FBI sponsors employees for the university and vocational training in programs, which are related to the FBI mission (“Education and training programs,” n.d.).

As well as the FBI training curriculum, police academies use to check the basic knowledge of their applicants by means of online-based written exam providing the data on their math, writing, and reading. However, unlike the FBI, law enforcement academies also obtain the information on the applicants’ personality by means of these exams. Training of police officers is also held in a specialized educational establishment such as Law Enforcement Training Academy located in Tennessee. Nonetheless, the idea of a police officer training differs from the FBI training due to the fact that the characteristic training methodology used predominantly in the typical police academy is based upon the para-militarism. That means that paramilitary characteristics severely require the use of military terminology in order to create a warrior-like world-view among the officers. This methodology may lead to the creation of adherence to outmoded methods of training and operation, unlike the FBI’s methodology of encouraging the creativity (O’Connor, 2010).

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The positions of the special agent at the FBI and the police officer represent a very responsible work. Both the special agent and policeman often appear in situations, which make immense demands to their physical opportunities. In these cases, the fitness condition of the FBI special agent or the police officer often is a decisive factor between the success and failure, and even life and death. Thus, all candidates for these positions must have an excellent physical condition. The indispensable condition of the candidate is an absence of disability, which can prevent in firearms application, raids or defensive tactics. All candidates for a position of the special agent have to be able to pass some tests to get the admission to the FBI Academy in Quantico (“FBI Special Agent physical requirements,” n.d.).

In order to be convinced that special agents of the FBI are completely ready to carry out the duties as leaders in law enforcement agencies, applicants have to pass the standardized physical fitness test. Attendants on the position of the police officer are also requested to pass a physical agility test (O’Connor, 2010). The test consists of four obligatory events, which are held in the following order: the maximum number of knee-bends per one minute, running on 300 meters (timed), the maximum quantity of press-ups without a temporary restriction, and running on one and a half miles (timed). The applicants who have successfully passed the official test are considered rather suitable for a safe and successful completion of physical trainings and classes in the defensive tactics as a part of training of new agents in the FBI Academy. Besides, all applicants have to pass the Farnsworth D-15 color vision test successfully; thus, they must have an excellent vision. The strict vision requirements are based upon the fact that the FBI agents should operate the weapon without bad shots in extreme situations (“FBI Special Agent physical requirements,” n.d.).

Last year, the Federal Bureau of Investigations made considerable changes to a pistol training mode of the agency. New protocols of the pistol training and also unified fire educational packages, which were used in each local office of the FBI, were changed in order to emphasize skills of shooting at a short range and the level of proficiency of the agents. These changes were adopted in order to train the agents better for life-threatening meetings with criminals during firefights in short distances (McCombie, 2013).

Meantime, in 2008, all police departments all over the USA adopted the Police Firearms Training Survey, the aim of which was to collect and process the data on deadly force and handgun training practices and methods. In comparison to the FBI, the instructor development and stuffing in police academies remain at a rather low level. Some departments provide full-time instructors, the duty of which is handgun training. However, some departments provide instructors for which the handgun training activity is the collateral duty; thus, the required handgun trainings are relatively infrequently undertaken. Since the differentiation between the two concepts of “re-qualifying” and “training” of the officers has considerably grown, some departments decided to minimize their rote marksmanship testing resources use and, instead, concentrate on more beneficial practices and experiences. Unlike the FBI information exchange training principles, trainers of police departments often have no opportunity to access the administrative investigations results, which can be used as a motive force in the improvement of training programs (Morrison, n.d.).

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Unlike the FBI that is not disclosing the statistical data about the percentage of its agents, which were “feloniously” shot during the close firing, the Criminal Justice Information Services publishes the statistical data concerning police officers killed during short-distance firing with criminals. During the period of 2002-2011, a scaring number of local and state policemen was killed, and it consists of 500 officers. Thus, in order to prevent such staff loses, both law enforcement’s and FBI’s boards decided to include the short-distance firing trainings into the general training course of their officers and agents (McCombie, 2013).

However, unlike the typical police academies, the FBI’s training schools made significant investments ailed at improvement of virtual simulation in the course of handgun training. In February 2012, for example, the system of Virtual Simulator Tactical Training was implemented into the course of the FBI agents training. This system is aimed at teaching the FBI agents to enter and clear accommodations in a proper way in order to detect potential suspects, timely achieve the ways of countering armed assaults, and determine the appropriateness of deadly force (McCombie, 2013).

Indeed, the latest most effective innovation technology in the police training field was the adoption of the crime mapping process. Crime mapping is actually used as an efficient crime preventing tool and visual crimes trends determination in police practice. Thus, officers trained partially or fully in mechanics of crime mapping and valuable ideas of use of this technology at home departments. However, crime mapping principles are fully available only to detectives with the background in military intelligence analyzing. Before starting to deal with crime mapping, these detectives have to complete special free trainings (Schultz, 2007).

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According to the aforesaid information, the Federal Bureau of Investigation training curriculum is based upon the counter-terrorism idea. However, unlike the quasi-militarism training characteristic ideology that is predominantly used in the typical police academies, the FBI’s ideology is offensive and aggressively corresponding to the Muslims. In 2012, the FBI was ordered to purge its counter-terrorism training materials because they were considered as informal in the actual political context by experts. Besides, FBI’s training materials insubstantially claim that Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization. Experts also believe that the anti-terrorism idea of FBI’s training materials derogates Muslims from rights, because young men with the Middle Eastern appearance fit the terrorist profile (“Documents obtained by Judicial Watch Reveal FBI training curricula purged of material deemed “offensive” to Muslims,” 2013). In contrast to this, one more basic police training idea is that every person is suspected, but not every suspected person is a criminal (Yardley, 2013).

In contradistinction to the FBI training idea, policing community, which is characterized by the para-militarism methodology, is aimed at creating the appearance of policing as a kind of warriors, who actually keep the USA for democracy. Nevertheless, many experts consider military thinking within police officers training as a methodology, which is incomparable to the modern necessity of free-acting ad free-thinking officers. The paramilitary training of law enforcement officers teaches them to deal efficiently with civilians and their operational areas. Moreover, the training methodology of police academies teaches officers to follow the Rules of Engagement, which dramatically limit the amount of force that can be applied at a certain place and time (Cowper, 2000). However, as it was mentioned, the FBI agents are allowed to apply their creativity and force in the unlimited amount, depending on the situations.

Taking into account all the abovementioned information, one can say that the Federal Bureau of Investigation does not represent the kind of a national police force. Unlike police with its para-militarism training methodology, it represents a national security agency, which deals with various extremely serious security threats at the whole-nation level. Since the mission of the FBI is to secure the USA from the foreign intelligence and terrorism threats, enforce and uphold the U.S. Criminal laws, and provide criminal justice services to the agencies of all levels, the idea of the FBI agents training is based upon these principles. Besides, the FBI anti-terrorism training curriculum is aimed at the maximization of agents’ performance and minimization of injuries and deaths among them. Therefore, when strengthening its staff by means of trainings’ severe requirements, the FBI enhances the protection of the whole country.