Prior to 1970, the quality of training received by Federal law enforcement officers and agents varied greatly from agency to agency. Standardized training was an unexplored concept, and inadequate facilities and duplication of effort were prevalent as each agency independently trained its own personnel.
Studies conducted in the late 1960's revealed an urgent need for high-quality, cost-effective training by a cadre of professional instructors using modern training facilities and standardized course content. Congress responded by authorizing funds for planning and constructing the Consolidated Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (CFLETC). In 1970, the CFLETC was established as a bureau of the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Order #217) and began training operations in temporary facilities in Washington, D.C.
The permanent location of the training center was originally planned for the Washington, D.C., area. However, a three-year construction delay resulted in Congress requesting that surplus Federal installations be surveyed to determine if one could serve as the permanent site. In May 1975, after an extensive review of existing facilities, the former Glynco Naval Air Station near Brunswick, Georgia, was selected. In the summer of 1975, the newly renamed Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) relocated from Washington, D.C., and began training in September of that year at Glynco. Glynco is the headquarters site and main campus for the FLETC, which has grown over the years to include facilities in Artesia, NM, Charleston, SC, and Cheltenham, MD, and Gabarone, Botswana.
On March 1, 2003, the FLETC formally transferred from the Treasury Department to the newly created Department of Homeland Security, along with some 20 other agencies. The move reflected the centrality of the FLETC's mission in support of the unified homeland security effort, which was initiated following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.