Homeland Security Department

Connie Patrick, Director, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center

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Jordain Carney
July 16, 2013, 10:46 a.m.

Patrick, who has been the train­ing cen­ter’s fifth dir­ect­or for more than a dec­ade, says she finds the job just as chal­len­ging as she did on Day One. She said the or­gan­iz­a­tion faces the chal­lenge of “how do we con­tin­ue to do more with less for more people.” A con­sol­id­ated train­ing mod­el has helped the agency broaden its im­pact. FLETC, loc­ated in Glynco, Ga., trained some 70,000 of­ficers in 91 or­gan­iz­a­tions in 2012; about a mil­lion people have gone through the pro­gram in the past 40 years. Patrick, 58, was born in Sumter, S.C., and with a fath­er in the Air Force she moved around a lot, even­tu­ally gradu­at­ing from high school in Tit­us­ville, Fla. She re­ceived a bach­el­or’s de­gree in crim­in­al justice from the Uni­versity of Cent­ral Flor­ida, after ini­tially con­sid­er­ing study­ing math. Patrick spent 20 years in law en­force­ment in Flor­ida, re­tir­ing as the dir­ect­or of the Di­vi­sion of Hu­man Re­sources and Train­ing for state law en­force­ment. She called FLETC a “second ca­reer, ba­sic­ally.” Patrick, who be­came dir­ect­or in 2002, has been at the cen­ter dur­ing a time when polit­ics have be­come in­creas­ingly po­lar­ized, but she said “law en­force­ment al­ways should be apolit­ic­al.” Patrick ad­ded that she has “en­joyed work­ing for all the sec­ret­ar­ies” and has seen “the de­part­ment con­tin­ue to ma­ture and get bet­ter” since she ar­rived.

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