Federal law enforcement agencies celebrate ten years at Charleston center

Published: Oct. 21, 2014 at 8:00 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - Federal law enforcement officials celebrate their Charleston facility, that's been in operation for a decade now.

In the last ten years, 62,000 students from state, federal and even international agencies have traveled to the Lowcountry for training, according to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

In 2004, FLETC was given the 200-acre property, located on the Naval Base in North Charleston. Since then, the campus has been made into a world-class facility. It's only one of three training sites for FLETC in the U.S.

Connie Patrick, Director of FLETC, said Charleston has been an ideal place for their agency to call home because of their location along the Cooper River. Patrick said it has allowed them to have a extensive maritime training.

Beyond maritime programs, the facility includes everything from basic physical training to more advanced programs like surveillance and anti-terrorism.

Most trainees are here for around 11 weeks, and live in the dormitories on campus.

They're coming from a large variety of agencies, according to Patrick.

"The Coast Guard, ICE, all of the agencies who have a role to perform at our borders, come through this training program," said Patrick. "So, when you think of FLETC and you think of people out there on the border and the coast, FLETC trained those people."

Patrick said the Lowcountry residents should be proud that this location is where the men and women who protect our homeland are training.

Also Tuesday, FLETC signed an amendment with Joint Base Charleston to extend their partnership. The two agencies have been sharing facilities since Joint Base Charleston was called the Naval Weapons Station.

FLETC had a need for additional training resources in the area, including fire ranges.

Now, both agencies coordinate when to use the resources.

Patrick said that not only does it cut down on costs but it also increases the resources each of their agencies can use.

"The best part of it is it saves the government money overall and that's really the biggest thing," Cap. Timothy Sparks, Deputy Commander at Joint Base Charleston. "We're trying to work and be as efficient as we can with the property that we have."

Patrick said for FLETC, they never know the threat and the resources they will need in the future, so it's a great benefit for them to be able to utilize the facility.

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