FBI Phoenix Hosts New Agent Training Program for Indian Country

FBI Phoenix recently hosted a New Agent Training Program for Indian Country.

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Grambow: Headquarters had always been doing several iterations of what's called the Indian Country Criminal Investigators course that was geared towards helping agents, as well as our tribal partners, providing them with relevant information when it comes to autopsies, crime scene investigation, and also cultural awareness.

Orth: So this program's being held for the first time at a field office, specifically the Phoenix Division, which is unique and hasn't happened in the past. Also involves bringing in resources from around the country to include other divisions working Indian Country, bringing those resources and expertise here at a field office for five solid days of training.

SAC Akil Davis: And so where the rubber meets the road really will be in the liaison and the interaction between the agents in sharing those stories and providing advice and guidance. That's really kind of the unintended consequence of a training like this. But they're also going to get kind of the big picture stuff, as we've mentioned.

Grambow: Before, we were able to offer some additional funding and positions for individuals to provide a greater audience that can be done within the training. We can also have additional field personnel as instructors, which could not necessarily have been the case in prior training iterations. So it's a unique challenge being an Indian Country agent in the FBI.

Orth: It's a challenge, but not an excuse. So there's lack of infrastructure and lack of resources that you would normally see in an urban area. We don't have that out on reservation generally. So Indian Country agents have to make decisions on the fly and respond quickly to a very violent and tragic situation which almost always involve a victim.

Grambow: So the difference is you need to not only be trained in how to do evidence processing, how to remain tactical in a very remote environment, you need to be able to understand the nuances of how to go from conducting a homicide interview all the way to knowing how to use the environment to your advantage. Finding individuals for witnesses and also operate in a remote location where you're going to have to make command decisions on the spot and be able to act responsibly and also accordingly, but effectively, to not only help the victim, but also seek justice as well.

SAC Akil Davis: Well, my hopes for this program going forward are that it happens on an annual basis and we continue to grow this program. And by doing that, we can solicit feedback after each year to see whether we need to tweak it. expand it, if there's any other entities that need to be invited to this. And it's designed to be scalable and flexible so that we can meet the needs of our agents.

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