GLYNCO, Ga. – The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) and the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters have partnered with the U.S. military to test incoming FLETC students for COVID-19. Today, FLETC tested 76 monitors that will assist in administering the test. FLETC will also test instructors and staff whose occupations require frequent close physical contact with students. FLETC will begin the testing as a 90-day pilot program at all FLETC training delivery points. FLETC expects to fully implement the new testing protocols within the first few weeks after training begins.
The test FLETC will use is a minimally invasive, saliva-based test. The test is designed to be self-administered and only requires the individual being tested to rub a test swab on the inside of each cheek. FLETC will monitor the testing process for students to ensure the tests are properly administered, labeled, and gathered for shipping to the lab. FLETC expects to have the results of the tests within 24 hours of receipt by the lab.
“I really appreciate the leadership of DHS Management, and the DHS Medical Office in organizing the pilot of the testing for us,” said Director Thomas Walters “With testing in place, FLETC will be able to reduce the risk COVID-19 presents to our people, and move FLETC closer to returning to full capacity”
Testing for students attending in-residence training will be mandatory, and FLETC will perform the test twice during the first week of the students’ initial 14-day isolation period. FLETC will offer FLETC staff likely to have frequent close physical contact with students the opportunity to participate in recurring testing throughout the 90-day pilot program.
FLETC’s Office of Security and Professional Responsibility (OSPR) has developed detailed response procedures to rapidly address any situation when a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 or becomes symptomatic after training begins. “Implementing a test-based strategy to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 is a game changer for our training operations,” said FLETC Chief Security Officer Kai J. Munshi. “It fills the critical gap of identifying potentially infected but asymptomatic individuals and greatly complements our comprehensive symptoms-based screening processes already in place.”
Each year, FLETC and its federal partners train upwards of 60,000 law enforcement officers at FLETC’s in-residence training delivery sites in New Mexico, South Carolina, Maryland, and Georgia. In response to the fast-spreading global pandemic, FLETC temporarily halted on-site training at all of its Training Delivery Points on March 20, 2020. Training is scheduled to resume on June 17, 2020.
Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers, Chief Security Officer Kai J. Munshi observes the COVID-19 testing station entry point as future COVID-19 test monitors stood patiently in-line awaiting testing in Glynco, Georgia, June 3, 2020. The 76 monitors tested will assist in administering the COVID-19 test to students and staff members as a 90-day pilot program at all FLETC training delivery points. (FLETC OPA / Courtesy Photo)
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