Valerie Akins, Deputy Assistant Director, FLETC
Valerie Atkins has served America’s law enforcement community for five decades—rising through the ranks from her start as the first female police officer on the Livonia, Michigan Police Department to her current role as Deputy Assistant Director in the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Training Innovation and Management Directorate. Atkins also served 22 years in the U.S. Army Reserve rising to the rank of master sergeant.
Atkins’ groundbreaking research examining weapons selection for police work, “Ergonomics in Semi-Automatic Weapons Selection,” was published in Police Chief Magazine in 1993. The paper changed the way agencies select weapons for law enforcement officers to account for the diverse needs of the nation’s ever-evolving police workforce, including women.
In her current role, Atkins leads FLETC’s efforts to research, identify, develop and field emerging technologies to enhance law enforcement training, such as advanced simulators and online learning portals. Through collaboration with private industry, educational institutions and other government entities, her team has utilized all available resources to modernize law enforcement training while maintaining high-quality, performance-based instruction.
FLETC is an interagency law enforcement training organization for 89 federal agencies, providing standardized training to support a unified homeland security effort. FLETC also provides services to state, local, tribal, and international law enforcement agencies.