- Lesley Mumford made history for being accepted to the prestigious FBI National Academy, a ten-week training course for law enforcement.
- Mumford, Summit County Sherrif’s Office operations commander and SWAT team coordinator, was the perfect candidate according to Undersheriff Joel Cochran.
- She would be one of 200 officers working in law enforcement all across the country selected for the academy, which would feature rigorous training program that combines graduate-level classroom work and gruelling physical regimen.
“I was quickly trying to recall anything that I might have done to get me in trouble.”
Lesley Mumford said about the meeting that took place in January when she was called into the office of Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons.
With Undersheriff Joel Cochran also in attendance, she knew it was no ordinary meeting.
“I was at a loss, but it seemed like a very serious conversation was about to take place,” Mumford, Summit County Sheriff’s Office operations commander and SWAT team coordinator, said.
In the transgender latest news posted by Summit Daily last March 29, her apprehensions were soon laid to rest when it was revealed that she will be making history for being the first transgender woman to be accepted in the prestigious FBI National Academy.
Hailed as a groundbreaking moment for the FBI, law enforcement, and transgender community, Mumford’s acceptance would mean that she would attend a ten-week training course for law enforcement in the academy’s campus by the banks of Potomac river in Quantico, Virginia.
This would the first time ever in the institution’s 83-year history to admit an openly transgender woman in its roster.
She would be one of 200 officers working in law enforcement all across the country selected for the academy, which would feature rigorous training program that combines graduate-level classroom work and gruelling physical regimen. The selection process was conducted annually in a very competitive nomination and invitation procedure.
“I think it’s a pretty amazing thing, a historical thing,” Mumford exclaimed. “It makes me feel that society is changing, it makes me feel that as individuals we do have the ability to change and influence the world around us.”
FitzSimons nominated Mumford for the selection. He explained that when she transitioned from male to female in the previous year, his office made sure that the change would seamless.
Considering her admission as another achievement for the rest of the transgender community, he said, “We were so proud to have her transition in the workplace, but this is the next, huge, huge, smash-the-ceiling moment. We’re so proud of Lesley.”
In addition, Cochran noted that she was the perfect candidate to learn the latest trend in police management.
“She is the front-line manager of all of our outside operations and everything that happens in the field, so what better person to go get the most state-of-the-art thinking from the FBI on what’s going on nationally and how law enforcement is changing its policing models?” he explained
While Mumford could expect challenging obstacle courses and coursework ahead, she would also be confronting with additional pressure attendant with her gender identity and accomplishment in defying conventions when the academy starts in July.
“I haven’t faced many challenges living in Summit County and Colorado, and so much of my story has been well-received,” Mumford stated. “I hope that continues in this instance, and so far I’ve not been given any indication that it wouldn’t. But I don’t know who the other 200-plus classmates will be and what their backgrounds and values are.”
She also thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to be a positive influence for the rest of the police agents across the United States and to break prejudices surrounding gender identity.
“I’ll have the opportunity to shape whatever sentiment somebody is left with,” she commented. “Hopefully, if there are any negative sentiments, I can challenge those simply by existing and performing and proving my capability and competence.”
More than the accolades and the expertise she would gain from the training, she shared, “Attending and graduating and being successful is bigger than just me. It gives me the ability to influence organizations far beyond my own. So many people like me don’t have the opportunity to be seen, but this allows me to have a voice in this moment culturally.”
Established in 1935 as a means to standardize and professional police agencies, the FBI National academy of today includes coursework on intelligence theory, management science, and forensics.
It is known for its final rite of passage nicknamed Yellow Brick Road, a 1980-designed 6.1-mile course where participants overcome wall climbing, window jumping, and other obstacles that culminates with the awarding of a yellow trophy brick.