MIPD’s Seifert graduates from FBI National Academy

Operations commander completes 10-week course in Quantico, Virginia.

Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD) Operations Commander Mike Seifert returned to the Island last month after spending 10 weeks away from his job while earning a coveted diploma at the prestigious FBI National Academy.

Seifert, 44, who completed his academy experience at the graduation ceremony on Sept. 13 at the FBI’s law enforcement training and research center in Quantico, Virginia, becomes the first MIPD officer to attend the academy in more than 30 years.

“You get a global perspective of just everything that policing is throughout the world and some of the problems that people are having to deal with,” Seifert said about one of his paramount takeaways from the academy that he brought back to the Island to share with his fellow officers.

Along with gaining law enforcement perspective from officers stationed at large departments in New York City, Los Angeles and other areas, Seifert formed partnerships with some of his 235 classmates from 49 states and the District of Columbia, 21 countries, five military organizations and five federal and civilian agencies. The robust experience has strengthened his ability and boosted his confidence to conduct his job at a high level.

During one course at the academy’s 283rd session, Seifert felt from start to finish that he vastly improved his public speaking skills, which is a vital communication tool for law enforcement leaders. Along the way, he learned from others’ experiences and offered some key on-the-job advice to his fellow students from what he’s faced during his career.

Seifert — who placed his name on the list as an academy hopeful a few years ago and received the go-ahead at the start of 2022 — delved into six graduate courses at the academy: fitness, leadership, communications, media relations, department change and wellness. Training was provided by academy instructors, special agents and other staff members possessing advanced degrees.

On the complex wellness front, Seifert said they learned about, “Making sure and having things in place that can help officers that are maybe having stressful or difficult times.” Another critical class at the academy involved effectively communicating with community members in the social media realm.

MIPD Chief Ed Holmes praised the leadership skills that Seifert has displayed with the department during his 12-year Island career, including the last year and a half as operations commander. Before joining the law enforcement ranks, Seifert spent six years with the United States Army as a member of an intelligence support unit for the 1st Special Forces Group while stationed at Fort Lewis, which is now part of Joint Base Lewis–McChord near Tacoma.

Holmes added about Seifert: “We are fortunate to expand his skillset with some of the best police training offered in the country. I am confident his fellow officers will reap the benefits of the knowledge he has brought back with him. We pursue training opportunities that make us better police officers because our community deserves the very best of us.”

Seifert said that he’s had a fulfilling experience while working his challenging job, and added, “Being on Mercer Island, we’re pretty lucky. We’re very well-supported by our community.”