FARMINGTON — Edward “Ted” Blais, director of Public Safety at University of Maine at Farmington, has been invited by the FBI National Academy to attend a professional course of study for law enforcement executives this summer at the FBI’s training facility in Quantico, Va.

Participation in this competitive program is by invitation only through a nomination process. The program provides professional development for law enforcement leaders throughout the U.S. and in over 150 international partner nations.

“This is a huge honor and the fulfillment of a life-long ambition,” Blais said. “The FBI Academy puts top law officers from around the world together in one place to study and learn from each other. I’m looking forward to the experience and gaining new knowledge to make as safe an environment as possible for our students.”

Blais has served as head of UMF’s campus police since 2005 where he oversees public safety for the 2,000 student public liberal arts college. During his time at UMF, he has secured a $50,000 grant to improve information technology within the department, established a data sharing program among law enforcement agencies of Franklin County and developed a working relationship with the District Attorney’s Office.

A career law enforcement officer with more than 26 years of service, Blais is only the second law enforcement official from Franklin County to attend the FBI National Academy. Jack Peck, now chief of Farmington Police Department, attended the training several years ago as a lieutenant with the Farmington Department.

According to the FBI’s website, less than 1 percent of police officers in the country are accepted into the program.

The 10-week course focuses on improving law enforcement at home and abroad and raising standards, knowledge and cooperation worldwide. Participants in the program are offered a wide range of specialized training and undergraduate and graduate courses in law, behavioral science, forensic science, counter terrorism, leadership development, communication, health and fitness.

In addition, the infamous “Yellow Brick Road,” a grueling 6.1-mile trail and obstacle course built by the Marines at the National Academy in 1981, tests participants’ endurance and fitness as a final challenge. “I’ve been preparing for the fitness challenge since I first received the call from the FBI in December,” Blais said. “It’ll cap off a wonderful learning experience with a great sense of personal accomplishment.”

Blais received his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University and master’s in criminal justice from Western New England College in Springfield, Mass.

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