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Our History

Established as part of The Center for American and International Law (formerly the Southwestern Legal Foundation), the ILEA came into existence as the Southwestern Police Academy in 1957, on the campus of Southern Methodist University. ILEA’s initial mission was to meet the need of training law enforcement supervisors. Over the years that mission has expanded to serve the ever expanding needs of administrative and supervisory personnel and the ethical training needs for all law enforcement. Today, ILEA offers programs at the spacious and state-of-the-art headquarters of The Center for American and International Law in Plano, Texas. Participants are drawn to our courses, seminars and workshops from across the nation and from many countries. ILEA programs are offered frequently across North America in cooperation with hosting law enforcement agencies.

In July of 1992, the ILEA, supported by a generous grant from the Meadows Foundation of Dallas, Texas, launched the Center for Law Enforcement Ethics. Organized to focus attention on ethical issues that go to the heart of policing, the goals of the Ethics Center are to examine the ethics of professional obligations in law enforcement, explore strategies that enhance the ethical climate in policing, and to establish programs that will provide ethical decision-making tools.

As a testament to the work of the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration, hundreds of police executives, managers and supervisors who have graduated from the Institute serve in law enforcement leadership positions around the world.