MEDIA ADVISORY: Yale and FBI youth academy concludes with basketball tournament tonight and graduation tomorrow

After a week packed with activities and seminars designed to expose Connecticut teens to law enforcement careers, the 26 participants in the Future Law Enforcement Youth Academy (FLEYA) training program will play in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament with New Haven police officers, new recruits, and FBI agents today from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Payne Whitney Gym, 70 Tower Parkway.

The FLEYA program concludes with a graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 29 at Yale in the President’s Room (2nd Fl., Woolsey Hall) 168 Grove St. (Corner of College & Grove streets)

FLEYA is the nation’s first week-long overnight youth academy hosted by the FBI and an Ivy League university, and its launch has been highly anticipated by law enforcement officials for months. Discussions for establishing FLEYA began last October between Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins, FBI Special Agent In Charge Patricia Ferrick, and FBI Community Outreach Specialist Charles Grady. The three worked together to develop an intense educational program for Connecticut youth who wish to pursue careers in law enforcement.

FLEYA offers academic and practical classes set in a college environment; the instructors are FBI special agents, investigative analysts, and other FBI career professionals. To promote inclusion among law enforcement partners in the state, the FBI invited participants from members of local police departments, the Connecticut State Police, the DEA, the ATF, the U.S. Marshalls Office, and state and federal probation offices, as well as a state judge and a representative from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

The student participants were chosen for the program by a panel of FBI and YPD staff. They competed in a three-step process: submitting an essay, taking part in a telephone interview, and attending a face-to-face panel interview at the FBI’s main office in New Haven. There were over 160 applicants from across the state, and those selected — 13 boys and 13 girls ages 15 to 18 — hail from multiple counties in Connecticut. The urban and suburban youth are living together for the week, learning the core values of law enforcement, as well as tolerance and awareness of culture as they work in teams in several group assignments for the class.

In addition to learning from a variety of law enforcement personnel, the FLEYA students took lessons in forensics at the University of New Haven from the world-renowned Dr. Henry Lee, who presented two case studies to the group.

Higgins said he and fellow organizers hope that the FLEYA graduates will continue to network with each other and utilize lessons learned from the academy for their futures in law enforcement. 

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Karen N. Peart:, 203-432-1326