The Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC) is one of six agencies of the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service focused on serving the law enforcement community and community public safety. LEIC is comprised of professionals in the areas of law enforcement and public safety, executive leadership and management, community education, safe and secure schools, internet and information technology, seminar and conference development and curriculum development. Additionally, LEIC uses a pool of researchers, educators, law enforcement executives, homeland security advisors, and community members to serve law enforcement and other public safety agencies and community organizations.
Formed in 1997, originally as Southeastern Community Oriented Policing Education (SCOPE), LEIC is a leading training and technical assistance provider for the law enforcement community across the nation, delivering training programs from Washington to California, Hawaii to New York, Florida and Georgia, and many other states as well as serving internationally. LEIC has been both a Bureau of Justice Assistance and National Institute of Justice training and technical assistance provider and home to one of the nation’s Regional Community Policing Institutes formerly supported by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Over the past 20 plus years, more than 35,000 law enforcement officers, other criminal justice practitioners, public safety workers, public school personnel, and community members have completed our training and educational programs. LEIC target audiences have grown from traditional law enforcement professionals to include other public safety personnel in diverse areas of the criminal justice system, including cybercrime, corrections, safe schools, substance abuse, safe neighborhoods, cold cases, and missing persons, as well as community policing and practices. Project design and delivery strategies at LEIC are based on extensive project management expertise with local, state, and federal training and technical assistance projects. Included in this experience are over 20 projects with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), National Institute of Justice, Department of State, Louisiana State University’s National Center for Bioterrorism Research and Training, Tennessee Office of Homeland Security, Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police (TACP), Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association (TSA) and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee. Currently, LEIC is successfully managing more than $2 million in local, state and federal projects. LEIC’s strategies all focus on customer service, customer satisfaction, and excellence in product development and delivery systems.
The National Forensic Academy™ (NFA™), one of the programs at LEIC, is a premier training venue for crime scene investigators. The NFA is nationally known for delivering consistently excellent training and technical assistance in areas as broad as cold cases, missing and unidentified persons, forensic photography and bloodstain pattern analysis. Using state-of-the-art facilities from classroom, laboratory to the newly implemented Outdoor Forensic Training Center, participants not only receive the best in expert instruction, but also the best training facilities available. The Outdoor Forensic Training Center (OFTC) at LEIC, is a facility developed with the guidance of Dr. Bill Bass, who originated the nationally recognized “Body Farm”. This addition to LEIC training facilities mirrors what Dr. Bass originally created allowing participants to experience human decomposition, skeletal remains recovery, cadaver searches and entomology related to human remains.
To meet the leadership challenges facing today’s law enforcement officers, LEIC offers a wide variety of leadership training from first line, mid-level, command, and emerging leadership challenges. To meet the request of both the TN Chiefs and Sheriffs, LEIC offers a five-week, comprehensive leadership academy hosted on the UT Chattanooga campus. Rivaling programs offered by the FBI National Academy, Northwestern or Southern Police Institute, the Southeastern Leadership Academy (SELA) at LEIC does not run consecutive weeks in order to allow smaller agencies to reduce the impact of staffing vacancies over a long-term program.
LEIC has a firearms training simulator, which provides the most current and innovative technology to aid training in law enforcement decision making. Providing a 300-degree visual platform, it enables the participant to deal with both distractions and multiple threats from varied sources. With the aid of technology incorporated into the system, participants are also cognizant of aggressor threats that provide “real world” stress and anxiety to shooting situations. Branching scenarios allow for de-escalation techniques to be employed rather than deadly force options.
Specialized training courses at LEIC, incorporate adult learning and experiential involvement to provide not only a learning environment, but also skills development. Examples include School Resource Officer (SRO) certification, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, Vulnerability and Threat Assessment, Active Shooter Response or Work Place Violence Prevention, Instructor Development, Community-Oriented Policing and a host of other topics that meet today’s policing needs.
In addition to its other capabilities, LEIC has experience in effectively organizing and supporting meetings and conferences. From developing agendas and identifying speakers and faculty, to developing background papers, PowerPoint presentations, and other written materials. LEIC has managed or supported numerous conferences and meetings, and in 2017, LEIC provided over 71 training deliveries, having served over 2800 participants and 101 agencies. This was accomplished with ten staff and over 60 contracted training associates.