From 1985 to 1999, DEA satisfied the need to educate Basic Agents by sharing training facilities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the FBI Academy, located on the Marine Corps Base at Quantico, Virginia. As both the DEA’s and the FBI’s training missions expanded, it became clear that the DEA needed its own dedicated training facility.
On March 31, 1997, a construction contract for the DEA Training Academy was awarded to the Turner Construction Company. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new academy was held on April 21, 1997. The Academy opened on April 28, 1999.
The DEA Training Academy is a 185,000 square foot building containing:
Each classroom is equipped with rear screen, state-of-the-art audiovisual technologies. Through a podium located in the classroom, the instructor has access to the DEA Firebird computer system, laptop hookups, wireless keypads for PowerPoint Presentations, audio and videotapes, 35 mm slides, and a document camera that can show overheads or evidence samples. A cable television system is also available to permit real-time viewing of news conferences or special events. Each classroom has a camera mounted in the room so presentations in that classroom can be recorded or broadcast to every other classroom and even to the dormitory if a student is ill and unable to attend class. Three computer classrooms are devoted to training students in DEA Automated Information Systems, as well as general computer skills. The computer classrooms are also equipped with state-of-the-art capabilities.
The DEA Training Academy is used for Basic Agent training, Basic Diversion Investigator training, Basic Intelligence Research Specialist training, Basic Forensic Science training, professional and executive development training, certification training, and specialized training. The Academy is also used to conduct drug law enforcement seminars for state and local law enforcement personnel, and through the use of specially equipped classrooms, international drug training seminars for foreign law enforcement officials. The Academy’s international classroom has the capacity to simultaneously translate an instructor’s course of instruction into three different languages.