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MPD Deputy Chief and WIU LEJA Alumnus Dave Burnham
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WIU Alum, Local Officer Joins Other Grads, Officers at FBI Academy

July 9, 2019

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MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University had a good showing at the recent 276th Session of the National FBI Academy in Quantico (VA), including one local alumnus, who has been a member of the Macomb Police Department (MPD) since 1997.

Deputy Chief David Burnham, a 1990 law enforcement and justice administration (LEJA) graduate, was one of 256 men and women from around the world (and one of five WIU alums) to graduate from the 10-week Academy. WIU graduates Palatine Police Department Com. Lawrence Canada '90 LEJA, Vilas County (WI) Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Patrick Schmidt '97 LEJA, Madison County (IL) Sheriff's Office Cpt. Gregory Cale Becker '00 Political Science and Bartlett (IL) Police Department Deputy Chief Geoffrey Pretkelis '95 LEJA joined Burnham in this year's graduating class.

"When I learned there were four other Western grads in the Academy, I was pretty impressed based on our University's size," Burnham said. "WIU was well represented. It was an honor to not only represent my department and my community, but also my alma mater."

Over the years, Burnham has served in various roles at MPD, including police officer, bike patrol officer, field training officer, range officer and teaching various specialty training courses. In 2005 and 2006, Burnham was promoted to sergeant and lieutenant, respectively. In 2012, he was promoted to lieutenant of investigations, and in April 2018, Burnham was promoted to deputy chief. He is the second MPD officer to attend the National FBI Academy. MPD (Ret.) Police Chief Bill Hedeen graduated in 2001 from the National Academy.

Included in the Academy's Class of 2019 were members of law enforcement agencies from the District of Columbia, 35 international countries, five military organizations and seven federal civilian organizations.

"I met people from from all over the world, and my roommate was from western Australia," he added. "When you meet law enforcement officers from across the world, you get a chance to connect and learn from one another, and realize that nearly every department has the same internal and external issues."

According to Burnham, the Academy is internationally known for its academic excellence. The program, held at the FBI Academy, provides 10 weeks of intense training, including advanced communication, leadership and physical fitness for select officers with proven records as law enforcement professionals. On average, the participants have 21 years of law enforcement experience, Burnham added.

The graduation ceremony, featuring keynote speaker Attorney General William Pelham Barr, was held at the FBI Academy June 7. A total of 52,026 graduates represent the alumni of the FBI National Academy since its beginnings in 1935.

"Going to the National Academy was a great experience," Burnham added. "It was also an incredible privilege as only one percent of police officers across the nation have opportunity to attend, and many officers wait years to get in."

Posted By: WIU News (
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