Fairmont State’s new police chief has great interest in new police academy

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Fairmont State University has hired an executive-level police officer with about 30 years of experience to command a new police academy and serve as the chief of the school’s police force.

Jeff McCormick (Photo/Fairmontstate.edu)

Jeff McCormick spent about eight years in Georgia working for local law enforcement agencies then took a job with the FBI where he served 23 years at several field offices and executive leadership positions before retiring in 2020.

“Then I went back to work for the FBI in Clarksburg in a non-sworn capacity and that’s when I heard Fairmont State, in addition to the police academy, were looking for a chief and I couldn’t pass that up,” McCormick recently told WAJR News.

McCormick has an extensive background in training. With the FBI he trained new agents in leadership and the use of firearms and spent three years as the chief of the FBI National Academy.

He said the new police academy coming to Fairmont State is what drew him.

“That academic component is what really made this position attractive, because Fairmont State is poised to become only the second police training academy in the state of West Virginia which I think is pretty huge,” McCormick said.

McCormick believes the role, including the academic position, will provide him with a unique opportunity to work as a first responder and an example for future law enforcement officers. Having a consistent presence in the classroom and in the public will alter some possible perceptions developed over the last two years.

“So, when we see these rare occurrences being replayed over-and-over in the media it drives this false narrative that all police officers are racist and all police officers are brutal,” McCormick said. “So, as a result many people are scared of the police for reasons that are not based in actual fact.”

The new Fairmont State University Police Academy is expected to launch next January. McCormick has been in contact with law enforcement professionals across the country to put the new program together.

“I truly believe this will be revolutionary, not only for West Virginia law enforcement, but the hope is starting at Fairmont State we can drive a narrative on police training and how we can address the realities of law enforcement in the United States today,” he said.

The program is built from the ground up with national expertise, but McCormick is getting the local input to structure the program to meet the needs of West Virginia.

“Prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, sheriffs, chiefs of police, representatives from city government and the NAACP, from campus faulty and the community at-large,” McCormick said.

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