March 09, 2005

Crapo Encourages Capitol Hill Security Forces To Use Idaho Training Center

Fort Sherman Institute may provide critical training in homeland security

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo wants security forces and law enforcement on Capitol Hill to be aware of a facility in Idaho that may provide critical training in hostage survival. The Fort Sherman Institute (FSI), located at the North Idaho College in Coeur dâ??Alene, runs a nationally-recognized training program. In a letter sent today to the Senate Sergeant at Arms, Crapo outlined some of the expertise and training at FSI. The Sergeant at Arms is the chief law enforcement officer for the U.S. Senate and, as a member of the Board of Directors, shares responsibility for security operations with the U.S. Capitol Police.â??In a post-9/11 world, our national security has taken added priority,â?? Crapo said. â??The Fort Sherman Institute is the only facility in the nation to provide both hostage survival and security training to both public and private organizations. To date, the bulk of that training has been to the military and international businesses. Members of Congress and all others working on or visiting Capitol Hill will remain potential terrorist targets. While the Capitol Police and other security personnel are highly trained, the FSI could be an invaluable training resource and assist in furthering the safety and expertise of law enforcement on Capitol Hill. Additionally, Members of Congress and their staffs could benefit from the training in travel security and terrorism awareness.â??Crapo toured the FSI in August, 2003, and agreed to assist the Institute in its block grant appropriations request. The Idaho congressional delegation brought the FSI to the attention of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge in a letter in February 2003, and that resulted in training opportunities with the Secret Service Academy. The Institute offers classes in travel security, terrorism awareness, and other issues related to international security threats.The FSI was formed as a branch of North Idaho College in October 2001, and was mentioned in the April 7, 2003, edition of Newsweek magazine. It has performed training courses for Phillips Petroleum in China; the Washington and Idaho National Guards, the Department of Energy site at Hanford, Washington; as well as others.A copy of the letter to the Senate Sergeant at Arms William H. Pickle is available upon request.# # #