For the next 11 weeks, the Payson Police Department will be short one officer.
Lt. Don Engler has been selected to attend the 196th session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in Quantico, Va. for an 11-week course that focuses on leadership and management training.
"People think when you go to 'FBI school,' it's to become a federal agent," Engler said. "That's not what this is about at all.
"The National Academy is specifically for municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies, and offers training for more of the administrative end of law enforcement."
The National Academy Program was founded July 29, 1935, with 23 students in attendance. Since that early beginning, the National Academy program has graduated 31,582 students.Close to 1,800 officers representing 123 foreign countries have taken advantage of this training program.
Engler was nominated for the National Academy by Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner, also a National Academy graduate.
"I think he has leadership ability and is a command-level officer," Gartner said. "He is very bright, hard working, and should really benefit from attending the academy."
In the history of the Payson Police Department, Engler becomes only the fourth officer to attend the academy. Previous graduates included the late Chief David Wilson, Gartner, and Capt. Steve Craig.
"Arizona only gets four slots each session, and there is a session every quarter," Gartner explained. "The academy is offered to every agency in the state, so it can take anywhere from three to five years before our turn comes up again."
Gartner said he took classes at the academy on leadership, legal administration, management training, criminal psychology and youth crimes.
"I got a lot out of the National Academy," he said. "I think this is some of the best training someone in our profession can go through."
Following graduation, each officer has the opportunity to join the FBI National Academy Associates, an organization of more than 25,000 law enforcement professionals.
"I think this will be a real opportunity to get more of a global perspective of police work," Engler said.
"It's an opportunity to compare some of the things we see occurring here in Payson with other organizations around the country. It's also a chance to see what's available, what's out there that might help us as we head into the year 2000."
Engler leaves Saturday for the FBI academy, and will return to the Rim country following his March 26 graduation.