August 18, 2011

Heiple earns law enforcement training honor

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A Southern Illinois University Carbondale alumnus recently became the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Honor Graduate of the Year.

Eric Heiple, a Murphysboro native living now in Alexandria, Va., earned top honors from among thousands of students who pass through FLETC based on his academic success -- he had the highest academic average of the 2010 students.   Heiple earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice and criminology at SIUC.

FLETC trains all uniformed and plainclothes federal law enforcement officers except for those in the FBI and the DEA.  Heiple is affiliated with the Secret Service.

According to information released through FLETC, Heiple’s academic average was 98.21.  He also held a perfect firearm score, and a Physical Efficiency Battery average of 96.  He earned other awards while in training, including the Academic Award, Distinguished Expert Award in Firearms, Driving Award and Distinguished Fitness Award. 

“To achieve the highest academic performance among the hundreds of personnel who completed the basic training program in 2010 is a tremendous accomplishment,” Joseph Schaefer, a professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at SIUC, said.  “Eric’s award is a testament to his intelligence, work ethic, diligence and aptitude.  Eric was an award-winning student when he was enrolled in the CCJ program (at SIUC), and we are pleased he is continuing to represent SIUC in his new career.”

For more information about FLETC, visit 

To learn more about the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at SIUC, visit