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  • Mark DuPont

2017 at the Academy: The Year in Review

A lot can happen in a year. You could have a new President in office after all the pundits said it was impossible, your college football team projected to be in the National Championship could lose six games and jeopardize a 35 year bowl streak, dozens of men in positions of celebrity and authority could be forced out of their positions when cases of sexual harassment or assault are revealed... heck, there could even be some nut job firing off missiles with nuclear capability into the air and over the Pacific. A lot can happen in a year.

A lot of good things can happen, too. Especially as we look back from the perspective of the National Maritime Law Enforcement Academy.

- We have enjoyed our own streak of successes, completing our 17th year of service to those who serve.

- We have a new Executive Director with a long list of accomplishments in the maritime law enforcement, homeland security and training realm, who is leading the Academy into the future.

- We developed and implemented a five year Strategic Plan, approved by our Board of Directors, to guide us into the future through a clear and organized framework.

- We have transitioned into a membership driven organization so that we can ensure our connection at the "deck plate" level and respond appropriately, efficiently and timely to the needs of the community.

- We have a list of new alliances with academic institutions like Louisiana State University, University of South Florida, University of Houston, and partners from around the country that will expand the resources and contributions to the maritime law enforcement community.

- We have revamped our PortTraining online learning portal, and expanded its Learning Management System capabilities for use by our members.

- We began publishing a weekly newsletter, so that targeted information relative to the maritime law enforcement and public safety community can be focused and delivered to your inbox in a timely fashion.

- We released a White Paper that defines the current challenges of maritime law enforcement and public safety, and makes some critical recommendations that can shape the future of industry and procurement.

- We launched our FLEATS Program to assist agencies in their Fleet Lifecycle Management, Equipment design, Evaluation of products, Acquisition procedures, Assessment & Testing, Training and Sustainment Services.

- We launched the STAR Program (Service Tested - Academy Recognized) to provide agencies and vendors a process for discerning products utilizing our staff and our members to provide reviews and evaluations of products.

- We added a 30 year veteran of the boat building and equipment manufacturing industry, John Hotz, to our staff to lead our FLEATS and STAR Programs and provide his internationally recognized expertise to our members in the areas of system evaluation, product assessment, platform acquisition and procurement processes.

- We began development of our online store that features gear, equipment, tools and technologies exclusively designed and vetted by the maritime law enforcement/public safety community.

All of these significant events and accomplishments happened in the last six months of the year. And although admirable, our focus turns to 2018. With the goal of continuing our mission and providing officers throughout the country access to the best training, the latest technologies, the widest array of resources, the world leading operational consultants/SMEs, and the public advocacy that they deserve.

We can assure you that 2018 will be an exciting year, and we welcome you to participate in our celebration of 2017, and our pursuit of mutual success in 2018.

Onward and forward, together.

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