Fort Collins, Colo. – Kathleen Mitchell, Ph.D., is the new director of the Front Range Community College (FRCC) Law Enforcement Academy. Mitchell served with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for more than 20 years in many roles, including Special Agent, Supervisory Special Agent, and as an Executive Manager in the FBI’s Training and Development program.
“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Dr. Mitchell’s caliber on board with FRCC,” said Jean Runyon, vice president of the college’s Larimer Campus. “She has real-world expertise in investigations—and is also a highly esteemed educator. She will help us ensure that northern Colorado’s law enforcement trainees are well-prepared to protect and serve our communities.”
Mitchell is the recipient of the FBI Director’s Excellence in Leadership Award, the FBI Training Division’s Excellence in Curriculum Design Award, and the FBI Training Division’s Excellence in Collaboration Award. For her work with white-collar crime investigations, she was twice selected as Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
“Dr. Kathy Mitchell is a highly qualified, experienced law enforcement official, who will bring strong leadership, training capacity, and value to the Front Range Community College Law Enforcement Academy,” said Loveland Police Chief Robert Ticer. “Kathy spent decades working in local and federal law enforcement and is highly respected by her colleagues and peers. She will certainly compliment the excellent track record that FRCC has established in law enforcement training for our communities.”
More About the Academy
FRCC’s academy gives northern Colorado law-enforcement agencies—and individuals starting a law-enforcement career—an excellent option for Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification. FRCC’s academy, which opened in 2018, provides this gateway to employment as a law enforcement officer in the state.
FRCC’s law enforcement academy trained its first group of cadets starting in early 2018. Its third cohort graduated in May—bringing the total number of graduates to 62. All three cohorts have received the highest class average in the state on the POST certification exam, receiving the No. 1 designation by the Colorado POST of all academies in the state. All of the programs 62 graduates have passed the exam, and all but one is currently employed with a law enforcement agency.
“Successful training of peace officers is more critical than ever,” said Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith. “Training in the past often focused on teaching officers physical skills—how to respond to a situation. Today, officers need a much deeper understanding of the people and environment around them. I am confident that FRCC understands this need and is preparing these students for the challenges that await them in their new profession.”
Nine local law enforcement agencies will have trainees in the program this fall when the college’s fourth cohort begins the rigorous 17-week program.
More Background on Mitchell
As Chief of Investigative Training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, Mitchell supervised new agent training, leadership development and instructor development programs. She managed a million-dollar training budget to support FBI training programs and initiatives related to national security, counterterrorism and counterintelligence programs.
As an instructor for the National Academy, she taught educational leadership programs and managed courses in computer forensics and cyber investigations. She also taught numerous state, local, and international law enforcement officers in a variety of training programs, which included complex investigations, interview and interrogation, and anti-terrorism throughout the world. Internationally, Mitchell was responsible for implementation of the INTERPOL Instructor Development Program in Lyons, France, and served as the program adviser for the Australian Institute for Police Management mentoring international police executive leaders.
Mitchell also has northern Colorado roots. Before her work with the FBI, she served as a police officer for the Loveland (Colorado) Police Department where she served as a patrol supervisor, sexual assault investigator, Colorado POST certified instructor, Field Training Officer, and Accreditation Program Manager Liaison with the Colorado Commission of Law Enforcement Accreditation (CCLEA) and Commission on Law Enforcement Accreditation (CALEA). During her time with the Loveland PD, she also created its Explorer Program.
Mitchell is a graduate of Colorado State University. She earned a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Lynn University, and a Master of Education in Adult Education at the University of Virginia, before earning her Ph.D. in Adult Education from Walden University. She has completed an Executive Leadership Education program through Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and is certified as a project management professional (PMP), and Emotional Intelligence i-360 Administrator.
Mitchell is a member of the Colorado Women of Influence Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Women in Law Enforcement Organization, and an investigation consultant for the Cold Case Foundation. A past State Secretary for the Colorado State and Northern Colorado Fraternal Order of Police, she is a current member of the Colorado Retired Peace Officers Association and Society of Former FBI Special Agents.
Mitchell succeeds Laura Manuel, Ph.D., the founding director of FRCC’s Law Enforcement Academy, who retired in May 2019.
About Front Range Community College
FRCC offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs from locations in Boulder County, Larimer County, Westminster, Brighton, and online. FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System.
About the Colorado Community College System
The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, serving 138,000 students annually at 13 colleges and 39 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities.