Letter From 2020 President Mike Hardee


    January 2, 2020

    Message from the President

    Greetings fellow graduates.

    On behalf of myself and the Board of Directors I wish you and your family a Happy New Year.
    As I assume my new role as your 2020 President, I want to say how proud I am to be part of such a prestigious
    and important association. Our network of resources and contacts have made us one of the most powerful and
    far-reaching organizations in the world and it is an honor and privilege for me to be part of this gracious and
    caring order.

    My hope for this year is that we all reach farther to serve and to provide the very best in community support,
    law enforcement training, and outreach to our retirees. We have a responsibility as members of this
    organization to do great things with our skills, knowledge, talents and instincts.

    I am asking all our Area Representatives to seek out opportunities whereby we become actively engaged in
    community chapter projects. For example, we can and should be asking community leaders to join us as a
    partner and supporter for youth leadership development opportunities, and for the families of law enforcement
    officers who have lost their life in the line of duty.

    Perhaps we can ask our retirees to become Outreach Organizers and coordinate with our Area Representatives
    in ways that represent our fundamental goals. For example, reaching out to those members who have become

    Also, your input and support is critical to our success and it is what drives us to stay current and progressive. I
    invite each of you to reach out to the Board Members and/or the Area Representatives and let us know what
    more we can do for you. It is it is our job to bring about new projects for the Board to consider and manage,
    and we need your ideas.

    As your 2020 President it is my sincere hope to continue the momentum of enthusiasm and creativity we have
    shown in past years. Our accomplishments as an organization is recognized nationally as leaders and pace
    setters for other chapters. Our passion for success unites us as a body to meet the needs of our membership.
    I am looking forward to this next year and I hope that you will join me along the way. Let’s make a difference
    in someone’s life and give back a bit of what has been given us.

    Thank you,
    Mike Hardee,
    2020 President
    Florida Chapter - FBINAA





    As a proud member of your FBINAA Charitable Foundation Executive Board, I’ve been blessed with being part of a team that has had a positive impact on the lives of our members in times of crisis and need. Your Foundation exists to help our members and their families in areas of charity, education, and science.

    We are Charitable:

    The charitable purpose of our foundation is to provide for association members and their families who are in unusually dire circumstances, due to calamity, debilitating hardships or illnesses, natural disaster, or other terrible circumstances to include a member’s on-duty death or serious injury and to the members and family members of other FBI affiliated nonprofit law enforcement associations.

    We are Educational:

    The educational purpose of our Foundation is to offer scholarships for educational and professional development opportunities to members of the association and/or their children and grandchildren and to members of other FBI affiliated nonprofit law enforcement associations and their children.

    We are Scientific:

    The initial scientific purpose of our Foundation is to establish a Law EnforcementCriminal Justice Science and Innovation Award to annually recognize an individual or organization that has made the most significant overall contribution to the profession through the introduction of a new or significantly improved law enforcementcriminal justice product, technology, process or technique.

    We need you to be an Ambassador:

    As your board reflects on the foundation’s mission moving into the future, we recognize more than ever that we need you, our members, to be ambassadors for the foundation. We need you to help us maximize our reach and impact on the lives of our members and their families. As a member of the Washington Chapter, I’ve benefited significantly from the partnerships, friendships, and training opportunities offered by the National Academy Associates. The greatest impact the foundation can have is at the chapter level. As we network with each other, let’s remember the importance of being prepared to answer the call to a member in need, quite possibly a member within our own chapter, or an NA classmate. There is no greater feeling than helping a fellow member through a personal crisis.

    By having the local chapters embrace the mission of the foundation, we increase its effectiveness. If local chapters would assign a member-at-large to liaison with the foundation, and to promote its work, we begin to establish ownership of the foundation at the chapter level. It’s important to remember that the foundation not only represents every NA graduate, their family members, and FBI affiliated nonprofit law enforcement associations, the foundation belongs to each one of you. Let’s begin by embracing the foundation’s mission at the chapter level so that we can respond more effectively to the FBINAA Charitable Foundation’s mission. Embrace the ambassador spirit. By doing so we will serve each other more effectively, and quite possibly increase member involvement in the greatest law enforcement family in the world.



    BY JOHN VANVORST   |   FBI National Academy Physical Training Unit

    The Foundational Leg Test

    "The legs feed the wolf!" -Coach Herb Brooks, 1980 U.S. Men's Ice Hockey

    In preparation for the 1980 winter Olympics, Coach Herb Brooks realized his team wouldn’t be the most talented, but ensured they would be the best conditioned.  Wolves travel up to 50 miles per day, and track their prey for up to 10 miles.  If their legs fail them, they don’t eat.  Near the end of each National Academy session and prior to the Yellow Brick Road run, students are put to the test with a simple yet humbling circuit of bodyweight leg exercises known as the Foundational Leg Test.  Mondays still may be “Chest Day”, but at the FBI National Academy every day is “Leg Day”.

    Coach Vern Gambetta developed the Foundational Leg Test (FLT) during his decades of coaching and preparing a wide spectrum of athletes ranging from developmental to elite.  The purpose of the test is to ensure the body is prepared for more advanced loading and training techniques while mastering fundamental bodyweight movement patterns.  Mastering the basics assures you’ll have a solid foundation to build higher levels of fitness and resist injuries.    The rapid eccentric contractions (muscles lengthening under tension) and longer time-under-tension creates strong connective tissue and stable joints.  This means your go-muscles are going to be sore.

    Foundational Leg Test Movements & Standards:

    The actual FLT consists of 20 bodyweight squats, 20 alternating lunges (10 on each side), 20 step-ups (10 on each side) and 10 squat jumps.  The standards for each movement are outlined in Table 1.  The goal is to perform all 70 repetitions with great technique in less than 90 seconds and repeat the circuit as many as five times without rest!  At the FBI National Academy we pursue the Yellow Brick rather than a gold medal, so we ask you to perform three full leg circuits with not more than 90 seconds of rest between each one.

    If you’re preparing for the National Academy or just getting back into regular physical training, start by focusing on the squats, lunges, and step-ups individually.  Begin with 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each movement, keeping the repetition speed fast and a 1:1 rest-to-work ratio.  Train your legs twice per week, and each week add 2 repetitions until you reach sets of 20.  After 4-6 weeks, start with the ½-circuit of 10 squats, 10 lunges, 10 step-ups and 5 squat jumps in under 45 seconds.  Perform three rounds with 1:1 work-to-rest ratios, and gradually add repetitions working towards the full FLT. 





    In order to thrive, youth need a system of support that is built upon an overall sense of safety and wellbeing, strong schools, and opportunities to learn and grow outside of the school day. Decades of research show that afterschool programs help kids learn, grow, and avoid risky behaviors. Programs spark interest in learning so students attend school more often, get better grades, and improve their behavior in class. Through new learning experiences, young people discover what they love to do and develop strong social skills.[1] Afterschool provides vital resources that help children and young people stay safe and feel well-supported and give working parents peace of mind during the hours when juvenile crime and victimization peak. Increasingly, law enforcement and afterschool providers are recognizing the value of partnering to support youth with the mutual goal of ensuring that their communities flourish.

    This type of partnership is beneficial for both the youth and law enforcement officials. “Afterschool programs provide a safe haven for children to focus on academics,” says Officer Kenney Aguilar of the Santa Ana Police Department. “These programs also keep kids off of the streets and away from the gangs that plague the neighborhoods.”[2] Collaboration can build mutual respect between youth and officers, while the officers serve as valuable role models for the young participants. By connecting with youth in a positive and engaging setting, officers are able to better understand the community they are serving and change the narrative of interactions between the community and law enforcement.[3]

    Starting Small

    The extent of law enforcement involvement with community afterschool programs can vary. Even the most simple of gestures—such as attending an event hosted by a local afterschool program—can make an impact in the way that youth view the role of law enforcement. Each year, around the country, millions of Americans rally around afterschool in celebration of the important work these programs do for kids, families, and communities by attending Lights On Afterschool events, which can consist of anything from a fun showcase of the day-to-day activities of the program to a more formal ceremony, attended by local politicians, stakeholders, and families ( This year, the city of North Platte, Nebraska celebrated Lights On Afterschool alongside local law enforcement at an event hosted by an afterschool program called Kids Klub. At the event, Mayor Dwight Livingston publicly recognized the important efforts that both afterschool and law enforcement have made in supporting the community and keeping kids safe.[4] This one-time collaborative effort has the effect of marrying the two as partners in the public eye, as they work cohesively toward the goal of community safety, and providing the kids the opportunity to understand and contextualize the role of law enforcement.

    A more formalized or regular collaboration can have even greater benefits. In Omaha, Nebraska, in the spring of 2005, Omaha Police Gang Officer Antonio (Tony) Espejo started a program called PACE (Police Athletics for Community Engagement), when he realized that arresting current gang members wasn’t addressing the main sources of the city’s juvenile crime issue: the lure for kids into the gang lifestyle and the idle time that kids had after school and during the summer months. PACE initially started with soccer—many of the youth in south Omaha were interested in soccer, but couldn’t afford the available programs. PACE allowed kids free participation in sports with supportive coaches that served as mentors. Since its inception, the program has grown in both size and offerings, and now includes baseball, flag football, CrossFit, Christmas programs, and ACT preparation. In 2018, an estimated 4,000 kids participated—a far cry from the six original teams in 2005. PACE participants include kids from north and south Omaha, specifically from neighborhoods with higher crime rates. Omaha and metro area police officers run the program and coach all the teams, with the help of other volunteers from the community.

    The lessons learned and relationships built through PACE increase community engagement—specifically youth engagement—and empower kids with important resiliency skills, including perseverance, goal setting, responsibility, and teamwork. And I have seen this investment in kids building such skills make a clear difference in his community. Since PACE’s inception, officers have seen less graffiti and violent crime in areas where kids are involved in the program. Over the years, PACE alumni have come back to volunteer to coach other kids in their neighborhoods; some are in school, studying to join public service themselves, as police and fire professionals. This year the Omaha Police Department hired their first PACE alumni, who is now going through the police academy and coaches at PACE.

    Most kids first encounter police during some of the most difficult times of their lives, Deputy Chief Kanger reflects. Afterschool programs start the narrative earlier, in a positive fashion, and are the key for sustained success for our kids.

    “President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing emphasized that building trust and legitimacy through community policing is a critical factor in reducing crime; afterschool programs aligned with police involvement are the blueprint for these great outcomes.”

    Take Advantage of the Summer Months

    Opportunities for partnerships do not end when schools let out for summer break — summer programs are in high demand with 73 percent of parents indicating that it is important for their children to have summer activities that help them maintain academic skills and learn new things, making summer programs an equally valuable space for engagement.[5] Founded in 1984, Laramie River Valley Rendezvous in Colorado has worked with more than 1,200 youth from at-risk homes in Larimer County, providing them an outdoor adventure camp complete with activities such as hiking, white water rafting, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Each June, the program brings together campers between the ages of 13 and 16 who come from single-parent, blended family, and foster homes for a week of adventure and fun facilitated by local police officers, firefighters, members of the Colorado National Guard, and other community volunteers. Supported by community donations, grants, and local fundraising events, LRVR is able to provide this experience free of charge to its participants.[6] [7]

    As one camper remarked, LRVR is “a place where a kid can be safe and have fun for at least one week a year.” Young people in the program value the dedication of law enforcement officials who have committed their time and energy to promoting the wellbeing of their community’s at-risk youth. In addition to creating this safe space for young people to relax, explore, and build positive relationships with both their peers and members of the law enforcement community, studies have shown long-lasting impacts of participation. Evaluation results demonstrate an improvement in participants’ self-esteem, a reduction in teenage recidivism rates, and the promotion of positive views toward law enforcement.[8]

    Big Commitment Yields Big Results

    Afterschool programs have the opportunity to change the community narrative around and perception of the role of law enforcement, while also reducing juvenile crime rates and building youth resiliency skills.[9] One program looking to do that is DRAGG (Drag Racing Against Gangs and Graffiti). Sergeants Charles Woodruff and Dan Shrub recognized through their work with the Oxnard Police Department the need for positive mentors for youth in their community and decided to take action. It all started with a 2006 Mustang, decked out to look like the Oxnard patrol cars, which garnered the attention of high school students in the area. Once this attention was drummed up, with the permission of the Ventura County school district, Woodruff and Shrub were able to obtain funding, find volunteer instructors, and open a shop up to house an afterschool program.

    Nearly 9 years later, at-risk youth participate in the program twice a week, for three hours a day, learning anything from basic automotive repair to creative car customization. Through hands-on experiences, special guests, presentations, and field trips to local body shops or racing events, participants work alongside automotive professionals and officers from the Oxnard Police Department to develop both hard and soft skills. The main goal, according to co-founder Charles Woodruff, is really exposure and mentorship: the automotive skills the teens learn are important, but more so are the opportunities to develop professional skills they will need regardless of the field they enter and the support systems they form through positive connections with adults who are committed and invested in their wellbeing. The one-on-one connection with youth is beneficial for the officers as well, reflects Woodruff, giving law enforcement a deeper connection with the community they are working in and the chance to make a personal, tangible impact in some of those community members’ lives.

    “Yes, the cool mustang gets the attention of kids, but it’s when you get them in the classroom after school that you can really start to teach them, and that’s when you can really make a difference.”

    How to Get Involved

    Afterschool programs provide youth the space to develop resiliency, improve their academic performance, and gain exposure to valuable learning opportunities. More than 10.2 million students are enrolled in afterschool programs and participation increased by nearly 60 percent from 2004 to 2014. Yet while participation rates are at their highest, demand is greater than ever before and 11.3 million children are unsupervised after the last school bell rings, during the hours when juvenile crime and victimization peak. [10], [11] Partnerships with law enforcement are valuable opportunities to expand access to programs and promote the mutual goal of keeping kids and communities safe. As evidenced by the examples shared here, these partnerships can be as simple or as wide-reaching as resources and time allow—what counts more than anything is making the effort to bridge that connection with youth. For more examples of partnerships and resources to help you create a partnership that supports youth and contributes to community success, visit the Afterschool Alliance’s afterschool and law enforcement partnership guide. (


    BY SEAN BURKE  |  FBINA # 239

    FBI National Academy Associates and the School Safety Advocacy Council Partner to Train Law Enforcement and School Administrators Nationwide

    As president of the School Safety Advocacy Council I have been lucky enough to work with school districts, law enforcement agencies, and communities nationwide to keep schools safe and further the efforts of law enforcement in schools. The unfortunate part of visiting these districts and communities is most of the time there is disconnect between the school district and the local law enforcement agency in their active shooter and emergency response planning and preparation. Even if the law enforcement agency has an SRO program, we usually find a lack of communication at the executive level.

    In a recent school safety assessment of a district with a large SRO program we found that the law enforcement agency, the fire services, and the school district all had emergency plans that contradicted each other. When representatives of the three organizations were questioned about the differences, all claimed that their plan would take prescient in any crisis. As we found, the organizations had never gotten together to discuss the emergency planning for the district, much less trained or drilled together. If this was an assessment finding ten or fifteen years ago no one reading this would be surprised but this was a finding that followed one of the deadliest school years in our nation’s history. What makes this even scarier is that this is not an isolated case of a single community not working together. As I speak, instruct, and perform assessments nationwide this similar circumstance is found in districts and communities of all sizes and locations.

    At the School Safety Advocacy Council, we stress the need to include all the stakeholders in emergency management training and planning for schools and communities. Having worked with communities and districts across the national for over twenty-five years, I have seen this philosophy, when instituted properly, work extremely well when needed to be put into action during an actual crisis. When a school district and its community first responders, develops a cooperative crisis plan based on the Incident Command System, trains together, then practices that plan, from tabletop exercises to full practical drills, it will always result in not only a better school, but community wide response. Following this process of preparation not only better prepares the school district but also improves the first responder’s actions to mitigate a crisis within the community. The process I described requires the understanding and direction from the leadership of the community, school district, and first responder organizations. It requires the understanding of the leadership that this process will lead to better preparation and response community wide because it may require certain stake holders to relinquish control or perform non-traditional roles during a crisis.

    As I stated prior, effective crisis planning requires a partnership between school districts and law enforcement as well as other community first responders. Luckily, not only the do we believe that but also the leadership of the FBI National Academy Associates (FBINAA) believes that. Based on prior but separate efforts on a national level to improve safety and policing in our communities, both organizations had a strong mutual respect for each other’s efforts. I also had direct knowledge of how great an organization the FBINAA was from being a member for over ten years and proud graduate of the National Academy, session #239.

    As a result of our mutual respect and shared goal of keeping our nation’s schools and children safe, the FBINAA and the School Safety Advocacy Council partnered to develop an active school shooting leadership training program entitled School Shooting Prevention Leadership Forum. This cooperatively designed course is an effort to bring decision makers and practitioners from not only law enforcement and education together in one classroom, but all the community stakeholders. This training emphasizes real life experiences and proven practices to prepare schools and communities for an active shooter event or other crisis. Using the extensive resources and experience from both organizations, the training presents the timeliest and most effective information available in the nation. During the last school year two programs were held, one in Columbia, South Carolina and one in Kansas City, Kansas. The programs quickly sold out and produced participant evaluations that were the highest either organization had ever seen. Classes were attended in both locations by participants from all levels of community stakeholders, education, law enforcement, fire services and elected leadership. For the upcoming school year, we are in the process of finalizing ten more courses in locations to be held in cities across the nation. Dates and locations will be announced soon so please check either organizations website for details.

    With such a great success in the partnership active school shooter training, the FBINAA and School Safety Advocacy Council will cooperatively host the National School Safety Leadership Academy this November 7-8, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In the past, this conference has brought leadership from law enforcement and education together for a dynamic two days of presentations, discussion, and problem solving. Now with these two great organizations partnering in the event, it is guaranteed to not only be the largest gathering of leaders but also the most comprehensive. More information on this must attend event and attendee registration will be available soon.


    FBINA #239

    Sean Burke served as the first Director of Public Safety for the Lawrence Public School’s Police/Safety Department where he coordinated all safety efforts, including the creation of their comprehensive school crisis plan, which serves as a model in the nation today. Sean Burke has over twenty-four years law enforcement experience, serving as a patrol officer, school resource officer, patrol supervisor, sexual assault and gang investigator. Burke is currently a Lieutenant in an urban police department in Massachusetts commanding the gang task force and SRO unit. 

    He is the former President of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) where he also served as a National Practitioner and a Senior Instructor for over 10 years. In 2004, Burke was awarded a Life Membership from NASRO in recognition of his work in the field of school safety. He serves as a grant review specialist and subject matter expert for the United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice in the area of law enforcement and school safety.

    Sean Burke currently serves as the President of the School Safety Advocacy Council and continues to travel, speak and consult for many governmental and non-governmental organizations.


    Gunbusters - Regional Sales Rep

    Gunbusters of Florida and Georgia, LLC 5151 Sunbeam Road, Suite 11 Jacksonville, FL 32257
    Job title: Regional Sales Representative
    Reporting to: Company President
    Company description: Gunbusters is a national company with regional affiliates across the USA. Gunbusters of Florida and Georgia LLC is located in Jacksonville, Florida and covers Florida and Georgia. We offer an ATF approved and patented method for destroying evidence firearms by pulverization. This is a free service to law enforcement and we cover costs by stripping repair parts before destroying the serialized receiver. We sell repair parts to gunsmiths, armorers, gun repair facilities and individual purchasers online. Our service is attractive to law enforcement agencies to reduce their dollar, personnel and storage costs related to evidence firearms since we come to them for the pickup and handle all aspects of the destruction. Our patented process creates a video of each and every firearm destroyed, specifically capturing the serial number and other pertinent data for chain of custody purposes and proof that the firearm was destroyed. We provide these videos to the agency on a DVD or flash drive as well as a file with our ATF acquisition/disposition records for agency files.

    For more information see
    Employment status: Part time, flexible scheduling
    Location: Miami-Dade (Dade County preferred)

    Compensation: Hourly/daily wage, travel expenses paid, commission on revenue

    Key duties and responsibilities: The Regional Sales Representative will be responsible to coordinate liaison and capture activity with law enforcement (LE) agencies in the South Florida area, primarily Miami-Dade (Dade County). This will involve maintaining liaison with individual LE agencies currently having agreements with Gunbusters and outreach to agencies not presently using the Gunbusters service to develop them as clients. In particular, the Regional Sales Representative will call on LE agencies to make presentations to supervisors and command staff of agencies not presently using our service, coordinate logistics of pickup of evidence firearms with agencies where we have an agreement, i.e. determining the quantity and makeup of firearms to be received, the date/time of the pickup appointment, personally participating in the pickup and inventory of firearms with the Gunbusters team, and other duties as assigned.

    Mandatory requirement: Must be a present or former law enforcement officer. Due to the nature of this work, all aspects of our process are either conducted or supervised by current or former law enforcement officers.

    Desired knowledge/skills/abilities: Prior experience or supervision related to law enforcement firearms matters (property and evidence unit member or supervisor, firearms instructor, SWAT), depth and breadth of contacts in the Miami-Dade area, competent with common software applications (Word, Excel, email, etc.), ability to meet and interact with all levels of law enforcement administration to further company goals.

    Contact: If interested, please send resume or background information to Jim Pledger, [email protected]                             or call at 904-206-0439.

    Mandalay Bay: The Incident, the Aftermath and the Importance of Peer Support Groups


    Sgt. Kathleen Vonk was the initial incident commander on October 1, 2017 when Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of concert goers at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip.  Paddock fired more than 1,100 rounds from his suite on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel.  Paddock killed 58 people.  Over 700 people were injured; some from Paddock’s gunfire and others from injuries they received in the ensuing panic.  Her work on heart rate and police performance under stress is highlighted in Ken Murray's book, Training at the Speed of Life and in Michael Asken’s two books, Mindsighting:  Mental Toughness for Police Officers in High Stress Situations and Warrior Mindset.

    Membership Renewal

    Membership Renewal

    Membership dues are payable by March 31st of each year.  Dues payment must be submitted by March 31st to avoid your membership being de-activated by National.  After March 31st, you will need to contact Ms. Jennifer Watson, FBINAA Assistant Director of Membership Engagement, at  [email protected] or 703-632-1944.  She may also be contacted via U.S. Mail at:

    FBI National Academy Associates
    FBI Academy, Blgd. 8-102.
    Quantico, VA 22135

    If your membership has lapsed for over a year you will need to complete a rejoiner form. If you have questions or need help completing the form, please contact our Chapter Secretary, Bill Hall at [email protected]. Thank you for your support of our Chapter and the FBINAA, and we look forward to having you back as a member.

    Welcome to FBINAA Florida

    With a global membership of nearly 17,000, representing 170 countries, the FBINAA is recognized as the world’s strongest law enforcement network. Working closely with the FBI, we strive to promote the tenets of Knowledge, Courage and Integrity; carrying forward that which is instilled in each NA graduate. With the support of corporate partners, the FBINAA is a premier provider of training at the local, national and international levels.

    Impacting communities by providing and promoting law enforcement leadership through training and networking.

    Continuous development of the world's strongest law enforcement leadership network.

    Core Values
    Knowledge, Courage and Integrity.