Non-essential FBI Academy shut down, LPD captain sent home

LACONIA — As the federal government partial shutdown continues into its eighth day, the trickle-down effects hit the city police last Thursday when Capt. Matt Canfield had a  specialized FBI training class canceled.

Canfield was into first week of specialized training at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia but was told last Thursday that his instructors were not considered "essential personnel" and the training would be stopped.

"I guess they tried to keep it (the FBI Academy) open but by Thursday they realized they couldn't," Canfield said yesterday.

This is day eight of the partial federal government shut down, caused by the inability of Congress to agree on a 2014-2015 budget that includes funding for the Affordable Care Act. Many federal employees not deemed "essential" have been furloughed without pay, including in New Hampshire the U.S. Forest Service employees as well as a number of people working at the Portsmouth Naval Base.

Canfield, who drove down to Quantico last Friday, was one of about 200 people chosen to attend the 2014 autumn session of the FBI National Academy. He said there was one other police officer from Manchester in his class as well as 24 police officers from countries other than the United States.

The FBI academy offers rigorous 11-week training class specializing in leadership and management for top ranking police officers and after applying a while ago, Canfield was accepted. The program itself is paid for by the FBI and the sending community — in this case the Laconia Police Department — pays for transportation to and from the academy as well as uniforms.

Canfield said he was on a waiting list for a while before he was accepted into the program. He said he was told by the academy directors that all of those who were unable to finish this session because of the government shut-down, will be able to attend one of the 2014 sessions. He said there is a waiting list of about three years after an application.

Graduation from the FBI Training Academy is one of the more prestigious training classes a police officer can receive. Other area graduates included former Police Chief Mike Moyer, Sheriff Craig Wiggin and Tilton Police Chief Robert Cormier.