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 24/7/265 and complete these materials at their own pace; we have made training more accessible, wider-reaching and more cost effective for students’ 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 were able to maintain operations without excess interruption. Classes resumed in-person for all Basic Academy students for the 296th and 297th recruits in spring of 2021.

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2015 – New Director

2015 – New Director

Judy A. Bradshaw, 2015 – Current 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. Governor Branstad appointed Bradshaw to Director of Iowa Law Enforcement Academy in 2015 after serving one year as the Assistant Director.

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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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200TH Basic Academy Graduates; December 10, 2004

200TH Basic Academy Graduates; December 10, 2004

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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100TH Basic Academy Graduates; December 19, 1986

100TH Basic Academy Graduates; December 19, 1986

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.

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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

In October of 1975, the first training class occupied the Academy’s expanded facility.  The expansion included four classrooms, sleeping accommodations for 114 individuals, a modern dining facility and kitchen, a library, a recreation room and lounges, storage areas and more.

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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, legislation was passed which placed the Academy administratively under the office of the Governor.

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1969 – Initial Phase of ILEA

1969 – Initial Phase of ILEA

In 1969 the Academy occupied the initial phase of the physical building that continues to be the foundation for the administrative offices.  For almost four years a temporary classroom was housed in the first floor of this building. 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…

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1968 – ILEA Basic Academy Class 001

1968 – ILEA Basic Academy Class 001

The first Basic Academy class graduated in July of 1968.

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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 created the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and Council making mandatory the initial and continued training of all law enforcement officers in the state. Initially, classroom, sleeping accommodations, dining facilities and office space were rented from the National Guard at Camp Dodge. The Academy ran on an initial staff of three – Director, Assistant Director and Administrative Assistant.

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