When Wayland Police Detective Sgt. Jamie Berger travelled to Virginia recently for law enforcement training, he was looking forward to beefing up his police officer skills.
Unfortunately, Berger became one of the victims of the federal government shutdown.
"I’ve waited four years for this,” Berger lamented in an interview with Wayland Patch.
Berger, who supervises the Wayland Police detective unit, had been scheduled to attend law enforcement training at the FBI National Academy at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia. But, after his arrival on Sept. 28, funding for the training was cancelled as a result of the federal government shutdown, Berger said.
When Berger arrived, he was under the impression training would proceed, but on Tuesday, he was told the agents conducting the training had been furloughed.
"Our instructors were not there," Berger said, noting the academy had hoped the shutdown would end quickly and training could resume. But, on Oct. 4, Berger returned to his regular job with the Wayland Police Department.
“It's a pain for me," Berger said.
That pain – Berger spent considerable time making arrangements at work and home to be away for 10 weeks.
The training, which would have included classes on administration, counter-terrorism, media relations and other topics, would have run for 10 weeks, Berger said. If training had proceeded, he would have had the chance to network and learn from other officers across the country and abroad, including officers from Pakistan.
"It's the best, most elite training you can get,” Berger said.
Berger said there is a chance training will resume in January, but an even greater chance that won’t be until April. He had a message for federal lawmakers, who are currently working to end the shutdown.
"The small people are effected and hopefully … the government gets their act together so everybody can move on with their lives," Berger said.