History of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy

2020 ILEA Implements On-Line Learning Academy

2020 ILEA Implements On-Line Learning Academy

In 2020 ILEA began to build an online learning environment geared toward jail staff 20-hour requirements.  Reserve Officer training was implemented in the Online Academy in 2021.  By creating an environment where law enforcement personnel can access training materials 24/7/365 and complete these materials at their own pace; we have made training more accessible, wider-reaching and more cost effective departments and agencies.

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2020 – Newly Remodeled ILEA

2020 – Newly Remodeled ILEA

A remodel of the original building was complete in August of 2020.  Instructors and staff moved into their new offices while students were still learning from home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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2020 – Covid-19 Pandemic

2020 – Covid-19 Pandemic

On March 17, 2020 the Basic Academy 290 and 291 students were sent home from class to continue their training in a distance learning environment due to the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic. On-line learning was immediately implemented, so that Basic Academy students were able to receive all the necessary training to graduate on time. ILEA staff worked remotely for 3 months before beginning a rotational in-office schedule that continued through the beginning of 2021 and…

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5th Director of the Academy Judy Bradshaw 2015-

5th Director of the Academy Judy Bradshaw 2015-

Judy A. Bradshaw was appointed by Governor Branstad to Director of Iowa Law Enforcement Academy in 2015 after she served one year as the Assistant Director. Bradshaw served as a Police Officer with the Des Moines Police Department for 34 years, retiring after seven years as the Department’s Chief of Police. She holds a Masters of Public Administration from Drake University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Senior Management Institute of Police.

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250TH Basic Academy Graduates; August 2, 2013

250TH Basic Academy Graduates; August 2, 2013

The 250th Basic Academy graduates from the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy on August 2, 2013.

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5th Academy Director Arlen Ciechanowski 2011 – 2015

5th Academy Director Arlen Ciechanowski 2011 – 2015

Arlen Ciechanowski was appointed Director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy by Governor Terry Branstad in 2011 and retired in 2015.

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200TH Basic Academy Graduates; December 10, 2004

200TH Basic Academy Graduates; December 10, 2004

4th Academy Director E.A. “Penny” Westfall 2002-2011

4th Academy Director E.A. “Penny” Westfall 2002-2011

E.A. “Penny” Westfall appointed director in 2002 and resigned the position in 2011.

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1996 ILEA to Train Telecommunicators

1996 ILEA to Train Telecommunicators

During the 1996 legislative session the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy was given the responsibility for providing training to telecommunicator specialists in the state.  In 2020 Gov. Reynolds signed SF2373 into law, which defined telecommunicators/911 dispatchers as public safety telecommunicators and recognized their role as first responders. ILEA offers Public Safety Telecommunicator Basic 40-hour Schools and Specialty Schools.  

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150TH Basic Academy Graduates; April 5, 1996

150TH Basic Academy Graduates; April 5, 1996

150TH Basic Academy Graduates; April 5, 1996

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3rd Academy Director Gene W. Shepard 1993-2002

3rd Academy Director Gene W. Shepard 1993-2002

Gene W. Shepard appointed Director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and served from 1993-2002.

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100TH Basic Academy Graduates; December 19, 1986

100TH Basic Academy Graduates; December 19, 1986

2nd Academy Director Ben Yarrington 1983-1993

2nd Academy Director Ben Yarrington 1983-1993

Ben Yarrington was appointed as 2nd Academy Director and served from 1983-1993.

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1978 – Increased Training

1978 – Increased Training

The Academy’s first basic training schools were 160 hours or four weeks in length.  In 1972 the basic training schools were increased to 240 hours or six weeks in length.  Starting with the Academy’s 51st Basic School, in January of 1978, the basic schools were increased to 400 hours or ten weeks in length. In January 1996 the basic training schools were increased to 480 hours in twelve weeks. Another increase put the basic training schools at 544 hours in length lasting thirteen weeks.  Currently, the Basic Academy…

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50TH Basic Academy Graduates; December 16, 1977

50TH Basic Academy Graduates; December 16, 1977

1975 – Academy Expands Facility

1975 – Academy Expands Facility

The classroom and dormitory building was completed in 1974 and contains a cafeteria, four classrooms, a library and a 112-bed dormitory.

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1970 – Academy moved to Office of the Governor

1970 – Academy moved to Office of the Governor

The academy was originally placed under the Department of Public Safety and functioned there for three years. In 1970 the legislature made the Academy an autonomous department and placed it administratively under the office of the Governor.  The Director of the Academy is appointed by and reports directly to the Governor. The Governor appoints members of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council for four year terms.

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1969 – Initial Phase of ILEA

1969 – Initial Phase of ILEA

Governor Robert D. Ray dedicated the First Academy building in 1969. This building is now the administrative wing of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Early in the existence of the Academy it was determined that assistance was needed in order to provide the mandated training to more than 4,000 officers who were functioning in the state at that time.  In the years that followed, seven regional law enforcement training facilities made application to and were approved by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council for the conduct of basic training schools.  These institutions were approved on the basis of their former experience and/or interest in law enforcement training.  The institutions were:  Cedar Rapids Police Department, Des Moines Police Department, Sioux City Police Department, Hawkeye Institute of Technology, Indian Hills Community College, Iowa Western Community College and Northwest Iowa Vocational Technical School.

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1968 – ILEA Basic Academy Class 001

1968 – ILEA Basic Academy Class 001

The first basic training school was graduated in July 1968 under the guidance of the founding director of the Academy, the late John F. Callaghan.  The first basic training schools were 160 hours, four weeks in length.  Minimum standards for the appointment of law enforcement officers developed under this authority have been in effect since December 10, 1968.

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1st Academy Director John F. Callaghan 1968-1983

1st Academy Director John F. Callaghan 1968-1983

John F. Callaghan was the first Director of ILEA, serving from 1968 – 1983.

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1967 – Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Created

1967 – Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Created

More than 10 years of work on the part of law enforcement officers across the state culminated in 1967 with the passage of what is now Chapter 80B of the Code of Iowa.  This legislative Act, signed into law by Governor Harold Hughes, created the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and Council…

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